Inland Empire Economic Forecast Sees Hope

Many thanks to everyone who attended our Inland Empire Economic Forecast yesterday at the Riverside Convention Center. Chapman University's chief economist, Esmael Adibi, said that while conomic times are still tough, there is hope that job growth, albeit slow, is on the way.

Speaking before more than 450 business leaders, Adibi said 2011 will be another year of slow improvement.

According to Adibi's forecast, the Inland area could see about 12,000 new jobs this year, 1% increase. That will likely trigger more good economic news. Personal income is expected to rise 3% in 2011, leading to better sales tax revenues for cities as well as Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

On the residential real estate front, low prices and interest rates should start to increase demand, particularly for first-time homebuyers.

"If you have a job and are in the market place to buy something, it's a good opportunity," said Riverside BIA CEO Mark Knorringa.

Please note: We'll post event photos to our Facebook page as soon as they are available. Please be sure you have "friended" the page so you will be alerted when they are available, as well as receive other up-to-the -minute housing news.

Read the San Bernardino Sun article

Photo courtesy of Applied Photography

Economist Sees Bright Spots in Riverside County’s Economy

It's that time of year again when all the economists and forecasters make their predictions for the new year. So far the outlook has been positive, but tempered. Economists seem to think the worst is behind us, but that the recovery will be slow.

At the recent International Builders Show in Orlando, economists said they expect builders to start construction on 575,000 single-family homes this year, up 21% from last year. That would still be far below the 2005 peak of 1.7 million housing starts.

Closer to home, Economist John Husing noted in his quarterly economic forecast that prices in the Inland Empire have stabilized and that affordability has jumped to 64% of area families being able to afford a home. That compares to 15% just three years ago!

And next week the Riverside BIA will be hosting our annual Inland Empire Economic Forecast, a not-to-be-missed event for those wanting to know more details about where the economy stands today and where it's headed. Esmael Adibi, Director of the Anderson Center for Economic Research at Chapman University, will lay it all out January 26 at the Riverside Convention Center.

Haven't registered for the Economic Forecast yet? Download the registration form. 

Read the Wall Street Journal article about the national forecast

Read the Southwest Riverside News Network article about Husing's forecast

Employment growth in the Inland Empire is California’s highest

The Riverside Press-Enterprise recently reported that employers in San Bernardino and Riverside counties created almost 9,000 new jobs in November, far outpacing the growth across California and the rate of job expansion nationally, according to the state Employment Development Department.

About 19,600 jobs were created in October and November combined in the Inland region. Many of the new jobs were at retail locations, restaurants, and distribution centers. An estimated 2,700 new jobs in November were office workers, suggesting that after almost three years of recession, some employers are starting to hire again.

These gains contributed to the Inland Empire being ranked as the best-performing metropolitan area in California in November.

Hiring is still weak in some of the sectors that used to be the Inland region’s strengths. Manufacturers and the construction industry both trimmed jobs. Unemployment in the Inland region, increased from 14.2% in October to 14.3% in November, as people re-entered the job market, anticipating holiday hiring.

Economists prefer to compare a given month to the same month a year earlier, and those numbers also are encouraging for the Inland region. The trend shows that the job deficit is shrinking. The year-over-year job count was down 1.6% in September, 1.2% in October, and 0.8% in November, from 2009

Op-Ed by Riverside BIA Preident Kevin Canning in Today's PE

The Riverside Press-Enterprise today ran a terrific op-ed from President Kevin Canning regarding the need for leaders at the civic, county and statewide levels to work together to help our economy recover. The piece explains the vital role construction, particularly that of new housing, plays in our region's economy and the direct, secondary and other ripple effects it carries across nearly all economic sectors and industries.

Says Canning:

Recent efforts in parts of Riverside County and statewide have utilized a proactive approach to revive the hard-hit construction industry. These include temporary reductions in development impact fees and state/federal tax credits, all of which have had positive effects in the context of the recession. It's critical that we continue to allow these industries to recover and re-establish themselves, as they provide employment and economic activity that are of widespread benefit. 

Read the full article

Photo credit: steveleenow

Study Shows Housing Industry’s Economic Output Down 80% Since 2005

Photo credit: sibhusky2Well, we knew it was coming.  An updated version of The Economic Benefits of Housing report released today by the California Homebuilding Foundation (CHF) in conjunction with the Center for Strategic Economic Research (CSER), confirms that the housing industry’s economic output has fallen approximately 80 percent since 2005, representing a loss of tens of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs to the state’s economy. 

The report details the role the housing industry plays in the economic health of California and was conducted as the fourth update to a report first commissioned in 2003. CSER analyzed construction and market data from around the state and quantified the impact of California’s construction sector to the state’s economy. The report is a finalized version of a preliminary analysis released in February of this year. 

Read the CBIA Press Release

Read the LA Times story

Read the Press Enterprise story

Read the full report