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