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Columbus Only Midwest City That Grew More Than 100,000 People Since 2010

This report is a summary of third-party economic research and perspectives to foster communication with business and economic development stakeholders during the COVID-19 crisis.

Mon Aug 23 2021

Key Economic Insights

  • Global: Economists project the U.S. to outpace China in economic growth over the few next quarters.
  • U.S.: Goldman Sachs lowered their forecast for U.S. economic growth for 2021 from 6.4% to 6%.
  • Ohio: Four Ohio Counties were ranked Top 10 Nationally for Economic Development Among Rural U.S. Counties by Site Selection Magazine.

Global Insights

32.5% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 24.5% is fully vaccinated.  The U.S. will begin widely distributing COVID-19 booster shots next month.  New Zealand placed its largest city into lockdown.  Japan will extend a state of emergency in Tokyo and other cities and add several regions to the emergency zone.  Australia expanded existing lockdowns to the entire state of New South Wales.

Economists project the U.S. to outpace China in economic growth over the next few quarters, which would be the first sustained period since 1990 in which the U.S. economy grew faster than China’s.  Moody’s forecasts that U.S. GDP growth will outpace China’s for five consecutive quarters, starting in Q2 2021.  China retail sales rose 8.5% in July from a year ago, below forecasts for an 11.5% increase.  Disruptions due to supply shortages were up 638% in the first half of 2021 according to data from Resilinc.  Toyota will cut global output by 40% in September due to chip shortage.

U.S. Insights

60.3% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and over 51% is fully vaccinated.  Weekly jobless claims declined to the lowest level since March.  Continuing claims also declined, dropping to 2.82M on a 79,000 decline from the prior week.  Goldman Sachs lowered their forecast for U.S. economic growth for 2021 from 6.4% to 6%, citing a bigger-than-anticipated impact of COVID on supply-chain disruptions and inflation.

U.S. retail sales dropped 1.1% in July, below expectations of a 0.2% decrease.  Excluding autos, sales decreased 0.4%.  Economists forecast consumer spending to grow at an annualized 4.5% in the current period, slower than the 11.8% rate in Q2.  U.S. business inventories rose 0.8% in June, matching forecasts. Sales rose 1.4% in the month. Industrial production rose a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in July, above expectations of 0.5% and the fastest pace since March. Capacity utilization rose to 76.1%, the highest rate since the pandemic started. The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 1.0% in July.

Homebuilder sentiment dropped in August on the NAHB Housing Market Index, the lowest reading since July 2020.  Housing affordability fell to its lowest level in a decade in the second quarter as the share of affordable homes dropped to 56.6%. Nationwide, the median single-family existing-home sales price rose 22.9% in Q2, a record in data going back to 1968. Home construction fell 7% in July, and applications for building permits rose 2.6%. The ESR Group downgraded its forecast for single-family home sales through the second half of 2021 to 6.66M, from 6.71M, due to ongoing inventory and supply chain constraints.

The University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index tumbled to 70.2 in its preliminary August reading, the lowest reading since 2011.  Small-business confidence dropped to its lowest level since spring. The U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Business Pulse Survey showed 38.8% of U.S. small businesses reported domestic supplier delays, and 15.9% reported foreign supplier delays. 17.7% of respondents indicated they would need to identify new supply chain options in the next six months.

Ohio Employment & Economic Insights

51.2% of Ohioans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 47.3% are fully vaccinated.  Ohio’s population grew by 2.3% from 2010 and remains the nation’s seventh-largest state according to newly released data from the Census Bureau.  Columbus was one of only 14 cities nationwide – and the only one located in the Midwest – to add more than 100,000 residents in the last decade according to the Census.  While Ohio’s unemployment rate climbed slightly to 5.4% in July, more than 52,000 people have joined or rejoined the Ohio labor force and 30,000 more people are employed since May.  When unemployment and labor force numbers increase together, it often indicates that more people are looking for work but have not yet taken a new job.

Ohio new business creation marches on, according to the latest July data released from Secretary of State’s office.  Four Ohio counties were recognized for successful economic development outcomes by Site Selection Magazine.  Holmes, Monroe, Williams and Pike counties were ranked among the top ten U.S. rural counties for economic development growth in 2020.  Ohio was one of only 5 states with 11 or more qualifying rural projects.

Positive Company-Specific News

  • Google plans to spend $1B expanding its central Ohio data centers.
  • First Solar broke ground on its manufacturing facility in Lake Township. The $680M, 3.3-gigawatt facility is scheduled to commence operations in 2023 and will create approximately 700 new jobs.
  • Long Ridge Energy Generation Project, a 485-MW facility being equipped to run on a mix of natural gas and carbon-free hydrogen, is nearing completion.
  • Xellia Pharmaceuticals manufacturing site in Cleveland is now commercially operational and has released the first anti-infectives manufactured at the site to be distributed for use by U.S. hospitals.
  • Resonetics received an economic development grant from JobsOhio to help fund a $7.6M, 40,000 SF expansion in Kettering that will create
  • 95 new jobs and generate more than $5M in annual payroll by 2025.
  • Western Magnesium decided to locate their first U.S. operation in Harrison County. The company intends to build a 100,000 metric ton plant that will create up to 200 full time jobs.
  • MetroNet plans to build a fiber optic network in Beavercreek, bringing symmetrical Gigabit speed internet to the area. This project represents MetroNet’s 11th city build in Ohio.
  • STI-TEC was awarded a $23.8M contract for advisory and assistance services in support of the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s Satellite Operations Brigade.
  • Kinetic Vision began construction on an $11M, 51,000-SF research and development facility at AeroHub, a planned advanced manufacturing innovation district in Evendale.
  • Buckeye Health was awarded a Medicaid contract by the Ohio Department of Medicaid to continue serving members with healthcare, coordinated services, and benefits.

Negative Company-Specific News

  • Speedway plans to sell 48 locations across the state.
  • The Andersons sold its railcar leasing business to American Industrial Transport, Inc. (AITX) for approximately $550M, and intends to sell off its remaining railcar repair business, including 29 U.S. facilities.


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