COLUMBUS, Ohio – Earlier this year at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Ohio Gov. John Kasich noted that the state is on the brink of an “Ohio miracle” with, as reported in the Columbus Dispatch, “the confluence of the closing of an $8 billion budget deficit in 2011, a jobs sector that’s growing and a predicted $1 billion surplus for the state by June 30.”
However, an economist with Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) who analyzes regional growth patterns said sustaining this pattern may be tempered by continuing weak job growth, based on an analysis of the region’s growth in 2013 and the regional growth forecast for 2014.
Mark Partridge, Ohio State’s C. William Swank Chair in Rural-Urban Policy, recently offered policymakers a 2014 Ohio and national economic forecast. In his forecast, Partridge, who also has an appointment with Ohio State University Extension, said that at a national level he anticipates that the economy will continue to improve, albeit slowly, as it has since the recession ended in mid-2009.
OSU Extension is the outreach arm of the college.
“I expect the U.S. economy will continue to modestly expand in 2014 and avoid problems due to fiscal contraction and Europe,” he said. “The U.S. performance looks much better when compared to other advanced economies around the globe.”
Partridge spoke Nov. 25 during CFAES’s kickoff of its 2013-2014 Agricultural Policy and Outlook series. The event initiates a series of county meetings to be held statewide thru the end of 2013. Dates and times for the meetings can be found at http://go.osu.edu/2014outlook.
The event featured presentations from experts from the college's Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, who discussed issues the food and agricultural community should expect in 2014, including information on policy changes, key issues and market behavior with respect to farm, food and energy resources, and the environment.
Partridge said that although the national economy has been recovering, this growth has tended to be restrained and is not likely to speed up until we see national productivity increases driven by innovation.
He also offered policymakers an economic forecast for the state of Ohio. From a state perspective, Partridge noted that though job growth in Ohio has seen an uptick since 2009 as well, growth in the state has lagged the national average by about four percentage points since January 2007.
“The long-term pattern of Ohio lagging the nation by about 0.5 to 1.0 percentage points a year appears to have reasserted itself,” Partridge said. “The long-term pattern of Ohio lagging Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin in the region, while leading Michigan, has also reasserted itself.”
Partridge also commented on the concept of growth driven by a manufacturing renaissance. He said that although the share of national GDP driven by manufacturing has remained constant since the 1940s, manufacturing’s employment share has fallen over time and will continue to fall into 2014.
“Unlike total employment, manufacturing’s employment has far from recovered from pre-recession levels in the U.S. and Ohio,” he said. “In terms of jobs, manufacturing of today employs very few people.”
To read Partridge’s policy brief for the conference series, visit: http://go.osu.edu/Ycn.