Wichita State News

WSU releases 2009 economic forecast

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University has released its 2008 review and 2009 forecast for the Wichita area.

According to the forecast, Wichita is expected to increase jobs by 2 percent, or nearly 6,100 jobs, in 2009, after an increase of 1 percent in 2008.

“Wichita’s economy continues to outperform the U.S. economy in income growth and job growth,” said interim director Rob Allison.

The outlook is confirmed by the WSU Current Conditions Index. Designed to mirror the current Wichita economy, the index has shown stable growth over the past year.

In addition, the WSU Leading Economic Indicators Index, which signals change in the Wichita economy approximately six months into the future, has grown steadily over the past five years, suggesting at least moderate growth into 2009.

A major positive influence on the Wichita area economy that helps to differentiate it from the rest of the United States is the significant backlog of orders for both commercial airliners and business jets.

The backlog is bolstered by strong international sales, improved balance sheets and the demand to hire a significant number of workers.

A second positive influence is a housing market that has remained stable with continuing, slow appreciation in home values.

“The Wichita housing market has remained more stable than much of the country,” said Allison. “While construction activity slowed in 2008, the time on market for houses being sold has been very consistent.”

The U.S. economy will continue to confront significant challenges, including ongoing strains in financial markets, contractions in housing activity, softening labor market and rising prices.

Taken together, the indicators point to another year of moderate growth for the Wichita area. In addition to these factors, the overall economic picture depends to a large extent on the actions taken in response to the national financial situation.

For the complete forecast, go to www.wichita.edu/cedbr and click the Forecasts button.

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Created on Thursday, October 09, 2008; Last modified on Thursday, October 09, 2008