Town Meeting – Economic Outlook 2012
On October 24th, at the Heinz History Center, the PNC Financial Services Group presented a Post-Gazette Town Meeting on the economic outlook for 2012. The discussion was moderated by Executive Editor David Shribman, and featured panelists Stuart G. Hoffman, chief economist of PNC; Paul O’Neill, former secretary of the Treasury; Heidi Przbyla, political reporter for Bloomberg News, and Guhan Venkatu, economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that America’s languid economy — low growth, high unemployment and no obvious way out — has perplexed and befuddled the nation’s top financial minds. Except for two months, the unemployment rate in the United States has not been below 9 percent since April 2009. Forty-five percent of the jobless have been out of work for six months or more.
According to the PNC Economic Outlook survey’s newest findings, with weak sales as a major challenge, U.S. small business owners have no plans to hire over the next six months and many plan to raise selling prices to preserve profit margins in the face of rising costs. The fall 2011 findings of the biannual survey provide insights on the current mood and sentiment of U.S. small business owners. Published early each month, PNC’s National Economic Outlook provides analysis and forecasts of key U.S. economic variables, such as real GDP, interest rates, inflation, income, employment, industrial production and house prices.
David Thor, Associate at Colliers International | Pittsburgh attended the Economic Outlook 2012 Town Meeting in October. “The panel affirmed that while the local economy should remain stable as a result of our diversified economy, the broader economy will continue to experience anemic growth as a product of the European sovereign debt crisis abroad and continued partisan politics here at home,” said Thor.
Ross J. Moore, Chief Economist | USA, at Colliers International, reports in the third quarter 2011 Office North America Highlights, that U.S. office markets posted another quarter of modest growth with slightly stronger demand and a modest drop in vacancy. The much-anticipated recovery in the U.S. office market, however, remained largely absent, with many businesses reluctant to commit to more space given the uncertainty in both the domestic and global economies. With only modest economic growth and uneven employment gains, the outlook for the U.S. office space market is far from certain, which means rents are unlikely to show any appreciable change for at least the next twelve months.