MERRILLVILLE | Economic forecasters point to a period of growth in the next six months for Northwest Indiana. The report was delivered at the Construction Advancement Foundation’s (CAF) Annual Northwest Indiana Economic Report and Outlook meeting on Wednesday, November 14.
“Even though the region continues to recover economically,” according to Dewey Pearman, CAF Executive Director, “the positive numbers that we continue to see reinforces that Indiana is heading in the right direction.”
“The next six months could see up to a 4.77% increase in economic growth,” according to Micah Pollak, Assistant Professor of Economics at Indiana University Northwest’s School of Business and Economics. “An increasing trend in the Gary-Metro area employment, especially in the steel and health care industries, serves as strong indicators for the projected growth.”
Pollak reached these figures after applying the Northwest Indiana Economic Index, an IUN-based research project that gauges the dynamics of northwest Indiana’s economy while weighing probabilities for economic change. He noted that the time needed to resolve the issues stemming from the expiration of the Budget Control Act of 2011, the so-called fiscal cliff, and the impact of the European economy on investors goals as two indicators that could jeopardize this growth.
Indiana’s business climate is also being cited as a contributor to the positive assessment of the region's economic development.
“Indiana’s logistics have led to some tremendous private investment,” according to Mark Maassel, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum. “Indiana’s AAA bond rating means a [CEO’s] chances of a tax increase are less the someplace else. Indiana can pay its debt and can meet its obligations without tax increases where other places just can’t.”
Pollak added, “Draw in more manufacturing firms, encourage expansion of steel production, build hospitals and more health clinics to employ the area to work with this trend.”