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Ohio Ranks #1 in Tax Climate for New Data Centers and Distribution Centers

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 Jun 07 2021

Key Economic Insights

  • Global: Biden Administration sending 25M COVID-19 vaccine doses to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. World Economic Forum forecast a return to over 5.5% global growth within 2021.
  • U.S.: The manufacturing PMI registered at 61.2% in May. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased to $30.33 in May.
  • Ohio: Ohio has 53 companies on the Fortune 1000 list for 2021. Ohio ranks #1 in tax climate for new data centers and distribution centers.

Global Insights

The Biden Administration is sending 25M vaccine doses to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. COVID-19 is expected to push global unemployment over 200M mark in 2022 with women and the young being the most affected. The EU is pushing back against U.S. calls to waive intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines citing lifting export restrictions as a better means to increase production in the short term.

Microsoft’s China arm announced a strategic partnership with Chinese retail tech company Hanshow to collaborate on cloud-based software in grocery tech market.  Global EV battery sales have surged as the demand for clean cars booms. EV sales in China may climb to more than 50% by the end of the year alone.  Consumer prices across the rich world rose at the fastest pace in more than 12 years during April, as central bankers try to figure out whether shortages that have emerged as the global economy reopens will prove transitory or have long-lasting consequences.

U.S. Insights

The U.S. unemployment rate for May 2021 was 5.8% and more than half a million jobs were added back to the economy. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased to $30.33 in May.  The May Manufacturing PMI registered 61.2%, an increase of 0.5% from the April reading of 60.7%. The figure exceeded analyst expectations as demand boosted new orders. But the report also indicated that the U.S. manufacturing economy is grappling with record-long lead times, transportation bottlenecks, shortages of critical basic materials and worker absenteeism. The U.S. economy continued to pick up speed in the spring, as consumers, many of them newly vaccinated and flush with federal stimulus cash, returned to restaurants, hotels and retail stores, the Federal Reserve said in its Beige Book.

U.S. productivity growth was unrevised at 5.4% in the first quarter from the initial estimate a month ago, following a 3.8% rate in the fourth quarter. Worker filings for initial jobless claims have dropped by 35% since late April, slipping below 400,000 last week for the first time since the pandemic started. The U.S. economic recovery is unlike any in recent history, powered by consumers with trillions in extra savings, businesses eager to hire and enormous policy support. The rate at which workers quit their jobs—a proxy for confidence in the labor market—matches the highest going back at least to 2000. The Southwest in particular is quickly becoming a hub for manufacturing output and comprises for 30% of U.S. over the last three years adding more than 100,000 manufacturing jobs.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s quarterly agricultural trade forecast projects fiscal year 2021 U.S. farm exports at $164B – the highest total on record and an increase of 21%. Meatpacker JBS SA was hit by a ransomware attack that took a big chunk of U.S. beef-and-pork processing offline, sending buyers scrambling for alternatives and raising pressure on meat supplies.  Food giant Cargill will start selling experimental wearable technology for cows as the cattle and dairy industries pivot to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Ford Motor announced it will expand its available truck lineup. The vehicle is expected to be smaller than Ford’s F-150 and more affordable as well. General Motors is expecting higher profits following supply chain shortages. The automaker indicated it is shipping thousands of vehicles to dealerships. 7‑Eleven is accelerating its environmental ambitions with a goal of building at least 500 Direct Current Fast Charging ports at 250 select U.S. and Canada stores by the end of 2022.

Ohio Employment & Economic Insights

The Tax Foundation found that Ohio ranked #1 in new data center and distribution center corporate tax costs. The state is also ranked #3 in new capital-intensive manufacturer and #5 in new labor-intensive manufacturer corporate tax costs. Ohio has 53 companies on the Fortune 1000 list for 2021, the same count as 2020.

The Site Selectors Guild published a podcast called “Opportunities for Business and Innovation in Ohio,” detailing the economic development efforts of JobsOhio. Cleveland State will partner with tech training provider Fullstack Academy to offer tech training bootcamps. Ohio University’s Online MBA program was recently ranked 42nd by Fortune in its inaugural Best Online MBA rankings.

According to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, the Bank of Cleveland’s district saw the economic recovery gain strength in recent weeks, and an array of industries reported healthy gains in customer demand. Firms were decidedly upbeat that demand will continue to improve in the near-term. That said, supply chain bottlenecks were constraining growth by causing extended lead times, depleted inventories, and escalating materials and transportation costs.

Positive Company-Specific News

  • 7-Eleven announced the successful completion of its acquisition of Ohio’s Speedway.SafeAuto has agreed to be acquired by Allstate.
  • The $300M 250-megawatt RWE Scioto Ridge Wind Farm is operational, and has capacity to generate clean energy for more than 60,000 homes.
  • The Fed signed off on Huntington Bank’s $22B merger with TCF Financial, contingent on the sale of 14 mostly rural Michigan TCF branches.
  • Kroger has reached an agreement with its union workers in Greater Dayton area, which covers about 20,000 employees at 104 stores.
  • Menards is looking to build a 173,000-square-foot store in Cincinnati. The store is expected to cost nearly $14M and will initially create 150 jobs.
  • Providence Medical Group opened a new care facility in Dayton. The new location consolidated three existing locations in the Dayton area into one 6,200-square-foot facility.
  • Palmer-Donavin is investing $800K and adding 20 jobs to expand its door fabrication facility in Licking County.
  • A majority stake in SurePoint Technologies, a Greater Cincinnati software company is being acquired by a private equity firm that is buying out the local founders and expecting to spur massive growth.
  • Terry Raley’s Amaranth Hospitality Group is opening a French-leaning restaurant in downtown Cincinnati. The restaurant is expected to host 80 dining seats and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Negative Company-Specific News

  • JM. Smucker Co. announced results for the fourth quarter of its 2021 fiscal year ending April 30, 2021. Quarterly net sales decreased $171.8M, or 8%. For the full year, net sales were $8.0B, an increase of 3%.
  • Worker shortages remain an operational problem for Dayton area restaurants following Covid-19. Restaurant jobs fell by 12.4% between February 2020 and April 2021.
  • Aloft Downtown Cleveland and Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland Airport hotels continue to face mortgage pressure following Covid-19. Both mortgages have been placed with special servicing to evaluate cash management options.


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