Honda Opens New World-Class Wind Tunnel in Ohio
This report is a summary of third-party economic research and perspectives to foster communication with business and economic development stakeholders.
Key Economic Insights
- U.S.: The Federal Reserve raised key interest rates for the first time since 2018 and signaled more rate increases to come. Weekly jobless claims reached the lowest level in more than 50 years.
- Ohio: Ohio’s unemployment rate fell to 4.2% in February. Intel will invest $50M in Ohio higher education institutions. 14,488 new businesses were created in Ohio in February 2022.
Weekly jobless claims set a more than 50-year low, falling to 187,000 for the week ended March 19 from 215,000 during the prior week. Continuing claims fell to 1.35M from 1.42M during the prior week.
The Producer Price Index (PPI) rose 0.8% in February and is up 10% from a year ago, tying January for the largest annual gain on record. Excluding food, energy and trade services, Core PPI rose 0.2%. Industrial production increased 0.5% in February, building on momentum from the prior month. Total industrial production in February was 7.5% higher than in February 2021. Manufacturing output rose 1.2% during the month. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased to 77.6% in February. U.S. durable goods orders declined 2.2% in February, falling for the first time in five months as manufacturers continued to face rising costs and supply-chain bottlenecks. Core capital goods orders decreased 0.6% during the month.
Retail sales rose 0.3% in February, slightly below forecasts for a 0.4% increase as inflation slowed consumer spending. Excluding autos, sales increased 0.2%, below forecasts for a 0.9% increase. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index fell to a final reading of 59.4 in March.
Ohio Employment & Economic Insights
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently published a national comparison of career-technical education teachers in America’s high schools. Ohio is the nation’s #2 state for the overall number of career-technical education teachers, and the #4 state for the highest concentration of career/technical educators. The Central Ohio Manufacturing Partnership announced its launch of a new, 600-hour workforce training program in automation and robotics to fill a 17% increase in demand in Ohio by 2028. The training will be conducted by Career and Technology Education Centers (C-TEC) in Licking County.
Ohio Company News
- Astronomer, a data orchestration platform headquartered in Cincinnati, raised $213M in Series C funding.
- Honda opened its new $124M wind tunnel facility. The new Honda Automotive Laboratories of Ohio (HALO) facility, located at the Transportation Research Center Inc. in Central Ohio, is the world's most advanced wind tunnel, with three separate state-of-the art testing functions.
- Intel will invest $100M over the next decade to build a pipeline of talent across the U.S., including $50M which will go toward funding grants for Ohio higher education institutions.
- Satco opened a new $10M Air Cargo Safety Research center in Clermont County.
- ECS Tuning will invest $9.8M to expand its corporate headquarters in Wadsworth, bringing 98 new jobs.
- Benchmark Industrial will add 40 full-time positions with salaries ranging from $50,000 to $130,000 at their Gahanna HQ and distribution center and open a new branch in Indianapolis.
- TriHealth plans to build a new 57,000 SF medical facility in Springfield Township.
- A&F Souvenir is expanding operations and opening a new U.S.-based facility in West Chester Township.
- Delta Air Lines plans to add a daily nonstop flight between the Dayton airport and LaGuardia Airport in New York. Service will begin on June 6, but travelers can start purchasing tickets now.
- AES Ohio joined the National Electric Highway Coalition, a collaboration of electric companies organized around deploying fast charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
- JumpStart announced the launch of JumpStart Ventures, a new division focused on pre-seed, seed, and series A venture capital investments to early-stage tech startups throughout Ohio.
- Octet Scientific, a Cleveland startup that is developing specialty chemicals for zinc-based batteries, received its first private-sector investment, totaling $200,000.
- Ohio State University research collaborator BioVaxys Technology entered into an agreement with Millipore-Sigma to manufacture a supply of a newly developed vaccine for a strain of coronavirus.
- Lightship Foundation acquired Black Tech Week, a minority tech ecosystem-building festival, with plans to move the annual conference to Cincinnati in July 2022 from its previous location of Miami, FL.