EASLEY – One of the area’s leading economic thinkers describes the Greenville Easley area as economically “strong but not sailing.”
The comment was part of the analysis given last Thursday by Dr. Bruce Yandle to the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce at the group’s State of the Economy address.
Yandle is Bruce Yandle is Dean Emeritus of Clemson University’s College of Business and Behavioral Science and Alumni Distinguished Professor of Economics Emeritus at Clemson. He a faculty member with George Mason University’s Capitol Hill Campus, and a Senior Fellow with the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC). He has served as executive director of the Federal Trade Commission and as senior economist on the President’s Council on Wage and Price Stability from 1976 to 1978.
He backed the belief with a ranking by the Milken Institute, putting the Greenville-Easley-Mauldin metropolitan area in 51st place nationally a 2012 report. That ranking is up from 112th place in 2011.
The Milken report cites cities with ties to technology industries as being the leaders in economic potential.
Despite the recent recession in the United States, Yandle said that the world’s economy is growing faster than it has ever with leading economic growth coming from small developing nations and India and China.
Nationally, Yandle said that retail numbers are back to pre-recession and state of the economy is improving from what four years ago. If trends remain consistent he said construction measures should return housing start to pre-recession levels by 2016. The housing boom of a decade ago produced 3 million more housing units than needed nationally, he said.
Economic conditions put individuals in the position of not creating new households, a major driver of construction growth.
Yandle said that education is essential to person economic success in the coming decades.
He is concerned about the effect of government regulations on the potential and speed of economic growth.
In 2013, he looks for national GDP growth to remain between 2 and 2.5 percent. “Wealth is being created,” he said. Unemployment will stay in the 7.5 to 8 percent range nationally. “Interest rates will remain tame,” he said.
“A huge deficit must be dealt with,” he said.
Yandle’s address was a first for Easley’s chamber of commerce. It was attended by about 115 members at the Easley campus of Tri-County Technical College. It was sponsored by TD Bank and Morris Business Solutions/Xerox.