Friday, March 21, 2008


I'm no economist, but I can't help asking the question: Are we headed for recession?

They say that if you laid all the economists in the world end to end, they still wouldn't reach a conclusion. I can't reach a conclusion either, but I do find it interesting to play around with the various tidbits that cross my desk.

On the one hand --
  • Food prices nationally are climbing faster than inflation, with flour, milk, and eggs each up 25 percent over this time last year. Whole wheat bread and cheddar cheese, according to the San Jose Mercury News, are up 15 percent.
  • Building permits in Utah State are down 18.5 percent over last year, said economist Daryl Delano in February's Better Roads magazine.

On the other hand --

Commerce CRG, a commercial real estate firm with a strong presence in Utah County, has released an encouraging market report. Among its findings:

  • The Utah County Industrial market remains tight throughout all geographical sectors. The economy continues to grow as does the number of companies looking for industrial space in the area. Manufacturing is a major industry driving growth to the state, and Utah County is benefiting as companies look for good, centrally located places to house their operations. The county is also benefiting from the overflow from Salt Lake City as companies and industries recognize opportunities in Utah County.
  • The tremendous population growth that hit Utah County in 2006 and 2007 has translated to a very dynamic retail market in 2007. This impressive growth has taken place county-wide. New projects continue to spring up throughout the county and large national tenants are looking at the Provo/Orem area as an expansion market. This is not limited to retail outlets; national restaurants are also taking advantage of the growing population.
  • Several new office projects have been announced for delivery in 2008 reflecting the optimism in the Utah County market.
  • North Utah County continues to be very tight and is benefitting from the presence of large manufacturers and retailers.
  • American Fork and Lehi continue to be the hotbed of activity in the retail segment.

Harry Truman used to complain that he could never find a one-handed economist. He would pitch questions to economists, but their responses invariably began, "Well, Mr. President, on the one hand ... And then again, on the other hand ..."

So maybe I'm an economist, after all.


Post a Comment

<< Home