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Business Barometer: Closing Thoughts

Business Barometer is a quarterly GSI publication that highlights significant economic indicators for the greater-Spokane region, as told by four local economists. The blog series contains eight posts; you’re reading post #8.

Grant Forsyth | Avista Chief Economist: The US Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been hit by the recent rapid appreciation of the dollar. After the weak first-quarter GDP, most economists shifted their forecasts downward. That may imply slower than expected domestic growth over the next five years. We are currently doing better than the nation as a whole, but the national trend will inevitably have an impact on our local and regional economies.

Steve Scranton | Chief Investment Officer, Washington Trust Bank: I am continuing to watch oil prices, which I anticipate will stay in the same general price range, as well as the strength of the dollar. While the strong dollar is unfavorable to our area’s exports, we should see lower prices on electronics and other imports. Overall, if we stay in the current range, it will be a net benefit to our Spokane-area economy.

Doug Tweedy | Regional Economist, Washington State Labor Market & Economic Analysis: Our jobs recovery started in 2012 and it was quite slow for the first few years, but it is definitely heating up.

Shaun O’L. Higgins | Managing Principal of The Oxalis Group LLC: All things considered, the first quarter results bode well for Spokane’s economy for the rest of 2015.

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