Posted on

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.

Key Economic Insights

  • Global: Global consumer confidence reached another record high in Q2 2021.
  • U.S.: New poll finds CEO confidence rebounding to multi-year high.
  • Ohio: Ohio’s unemployment rate was 5.2% in June 2021.

Global Insights

Global consumer confidence ticked up to another record high in the second quarter of 2021, as economic activity improved, mobility restrictions were loosened, vaccines were distributed, and COVID-19 cases declined in many regions.  Confidence rose in 42 of 65 markets (65%) surveyed, with the strongest gains in regions like North America and Europe with relatively high vaccination rates.  Olympics organizers are banning all spectators from the games this year after Japan declared a state of emergency.

The UK economy grew more slowly than expected in May after a rebound in the hospitality sector was offset by disruptions to car production.  The economy expanded by 0.8% in May but remains 3.1% below pre-pandemic levels.  U.S. Economic recovery has bolstered economic growth in Canada and Mexico, with forecasts for economic growth this year at 6% for Mexico and 6.5% in Canada.  Spain will invest €4.3B to kick-start the production of electric vehicles and batteries as part of a major national spending program financed mostly by European Union recovery funds.  China’s gross domestic product grew 1.3% in the three months to the end of June, up from a revised 0.4 per cent expansion in the previous quarter.

U.S. Insights

Hospitalizations related to Covid-19 are rising in the U.S. after a long decline.  President Biden signed an executive order on July 9 aimed at intensifying competition among U.S. employers.  The White House blames declining competition across the economy for raising prices of necessities like prescription drugs, lowering wages for workers, and acting as a drag on growth and innovation.  Among the 72 initiatives included in the order are a request for the FCC to reinstate net neutrality, a plan to import prescription drugs from Canada to curb prices, and a restriction on non-compete agreements in certain industries.

New weekly jobless claims fell to the lowest level since March 2020. Initial jobless claims came in at 360,000, with continuing claims at 3.24M.  U.S. consumer prices rose 5.4% in June from a year ago, keeping inflation at the highest annual rate in 13 years.  The main driver of June inflation was booming demand that outpaced the ability of businesses to keep up.  Another factor was the recovery in prices for air travel, hotels, rental cars, entertainment, and recreation.

After two consecutive months on the decline, CEO optimism roared back in July to 2018 levels as strong demand and progress battling the pandemic fueled an ever-brighter outlook that business are returning to normal.  Similarly, confidence among small businesses improved slightly in June after declining in May, despite owners worrying about a labor shortage and inflation, as the NFIB Optimism Index rose 2.9 points to 102.5 in June.

LG Chem will spend 10T won ($8.7B) through 2025 to accelerate sustainable growth in its battery materials operations and other business lines.  Astellas Pharma is spending over $100M to build a state-of-the-art American plant for a key component of gene therapies.  As much as 30% of the U.S. workforce will work from home multiple days per week by the end of this year, according to a forecast from Global Workforce Analytics.

Ohio Employment & Economic Insights

Ohio’s unemployment rate in June was 5.2% and Ohio’s nonagricultural wage and salary employment increased 31,300 over the month.  Ohio ranked as a top 10 state for business in CNBC’s America’s Top States for Business 2021.  Ohio ranked #2 in Cost of Doing Business, and #7 in Access to Capital.  Columbus (#1), Cincinnati (#7), and Cleveland (#8) made the top 10 small tech talent markets list according to a CBRE study on tech talent.

Team NEO released “Momentum Endures,” highlighting results through mid-year 2021.  A new report from JLL ranks Columbus #10 nationwide in terms of industrial demand, listing the market as one to watch as industrial demand grew 60.8% between 2020 and 2021.  The FAA has awarded grants to thirteen public airports across the Cleveland region, totaling more than $45M.

48.3% of Ohioans have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination according to data reported to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), with 45.3% being fully vaccinated.

Positive Company-Specific News Negative Company-Specific News
 

  • Kroger is teaming with KNAPP to deploy and expand its capabilities across the Great Lakes Distribution Center in Delaware, working to expand capacity through a 130K SF renovation.
  • White Castle is growing its manufacturing capabilities, undertaking a $27M expansion of its manufacturing plant in Vandalia.
  • Owens Corning announced that it has acquired Vliepa GmbH to accelerate growth of building and construction market applications.
  • Winesburg Chair, in collaboration with JobsOhio, announced the planned construction of 80K SF of new space for manufacturing, warehousing and office functions; expected to create 50 new jobs.
  • Energy Harbor has entered into a five-year partnership with Standard Power to provide carbon-free, nuclear electricity to Standard Power’s new Bitcoin blockchain mining center in Coshocton.
  • Ranpak Automation advanced their packaging automation with strategic investment in Pickle Robot Company, a leader in automated sorting, loading and unloading of packaged goods.
  • Dana announced it will accelerate its plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 50% by 2030, ahead of its original target of 2035 that was announced in October 2020.
  • L Brands approved the separation of the Victoria’s Secret business into an independent, publicly traded company; approved a corporate name change for L Brands Inc, to Bath & Body Works, Inc.

 

Resources