I’ve been out of the office most of the morning/early afternoon, dropping in at the Association of Washington Business 2010 Policy Summit, held at the Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine.
The beginning of the day had some interesting presentations about what’s happening with the national and global economy. The first presentation was from Matthew Bishop, New Yor Bureau chief for The Economist magazine. I plan on writing about it more in my Biz Talk column, but he seemed optimistic about where the economy is going. He pointed out that we “dodged a bullet” during the financial meltdown and somehow avoided falling into a Depression.
We’re currently on the road to recovery, he said, but it’s different than most recoveries because this recession was from a financial crisis rather than a regular downturn in the business cycle. Looking back at previous recoveries from the financial-crisis type recessions, the U.S. and the global economy is actually ahead of schedule compared to the past. He said it’ll still be slow and extremely difficult for people looking for work, but things seem to be on the right track.
Bill Conerly of Businomics was the second morning speaker, who focused on Washington State’s economy. He seem to have a similar outlook: Things are getting better, but it’s a slow & gradual recovery that will be difficult to notice. One of the biggest issues for Washington going forward is housing/construction, and it’s going to take some job growth in other areas to help turn those two industries around.
Do you think these two on the mark about what’s happening? What do you think are the biggest challenges in the coming months?