Economist: Ohio’s GDP growth should outpace nation in 2017

Staff Report

Ball State University economist Michael Hicks anticipates that real GDP growth in Ohio state will come in at 2.3 percent, outpacing the national forecast of 2.1 percent.

Other key points of his 2017 analysis for Ohio:

Personal income is expected to grow by an inflation adjusted 2.5 percent as labor markets tighten, and the state should expect almost 75,000 new jobs, topping the solid growth of roughly 50,000 in 2016.

Statewide, growth in nondurable goods manufacturing, logistics. Profession and administrative services , accommodations and healthcare will lead this growth. We predict information technology and real estate to see very slow growth, at about 1 percent or less, with construction growth remaining sluggish.\

It is likely manufacturing production in Ohio hit a record in 2016 (in inflation adjusted terms) 2017 looks strong as well. However, this growth is not accompanied by additional employment, so as manufacturing continues to expand, employment does not. This is good for the manufacturing sector, but does not offer relief for communities that are heavily dependent upon manufacturing employment.

Regionally, Ohio’s rural places continue to grow slowly. Nearly half the jobs created in Ohio will be in the Greater Columbus area. The Appalachian region of Ohio, which is dependent on natural resource extraction will continue to experience recession-like slow growth due to low energy prices.

Risks to 2017 for Ohio, include an unexpected national slowdown, and policy related reductions in exports that would seriously reduce agricultural goods prices and nondurable manufacturing production, even for non-exporting producers.

Upside risks to the economy include a continuation of the equity rally, higher demand for natural resources, and changes to national tax and regulatory environments that favor producers.

Nationally, Hicks expects the Federal Reserve to raise their policy rates by 50 basis points through 2017.

Staff Report