Let’s face it, 2007 is almost over, people are taking down halloween stuff and people are gearing up for Christmas and Hanukkah etc… So lucky me I was invited to attend an economic forecast for 2008 last week in fancy Lake Oswego with crystal ball seer and Duke PHd Economist Bill Conerly.
Some interesting facts: Bill gives a national recession a 1 in 4 chance with a vote that it likely will not happen. Recessions are also getting less frequent and less severe historically speaking. [This is Good News]
How to deal with a recession in four easy steps:
1. Assess your company and sectors vulnerability
2. Have an early warning system
3. Have a contingency plan [going on vacation doesn’t count]
4. Make sure you remain flexible
More cool number to know:
1. In the NW population growth is 1.5% annually – Nationally it’s 1% [we win]
2. 14% of homes in the US are vacant – this sounds really scary until I tell you that since 1965 it’s been about 12%
3. Economic value is now intellectual [software] rather than physical [coal mines] which means that jobs follow people now and not the other way around. This is why Portland had it’s biggest in-migration in 2002 when the unemployment was the highest.
If you want to learn more I suggest you read Bill’s book Businomics
I’m currently reading The Tipping Point
The bottom line is that while the rest of the country was building like “crazy” we were building like “really excited” so now that the market is trending to a buyers market we have less inventory than other areas to eat through. We also have a modest median home price that continues to fuel positive population growth [this is good]. We also have a magical security blanket known as the Urban Growth Boundary so we can’t do 10,000 home subdivisions [like Arizona]. Learn more about the Urban Growth Boundary here.
For people who want to read a huge and detailed report on the third quarter in Portland this is a must read
Thanks for stopping by to read this – please feel free to call me if you have any questions.