Times Board Of Economists
Local farmers are starting their planting operations with optimism for the growing season.
Interest rates remain low, making it an ideal time for businesses to borrow money to expand or acquire other companies, said Horizon Bank executive vice president David Rose.
With one of the harshest winters in recent memory behind them, Northwest Indiana casino operators are looking to up their game while keeping an eye on developments in Illinois.
Broad strength in the construction market is keeping local trades workers employed and leading to a backlog of work for contractors in some areas.
With renewed interest in national retailers and a recent groundbreaking for a manufacturing facility, commerce in Porter County is looking up, said Rex Richards, executive director of the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce.
Consumer spending is healthy and should remain so for the rest of the year, said Connie Kann, area director of the Better Business Bureau.
The first quarter in local higher education took a hit from Mother Nature.
Winter weather did not stop people from seeking entertainment locally. If anything, it was an escape for those holed up in their home for days, said Charlie Blum, president and CEO of Star Plaza in Merrillville.
Lake County taxpayers are now experiencing the gain that helps make up for the pain caused by county's recently instituted income tax.
The continuing pattern of decreased hospital inpatient admissions, along with increased fees under a hospital assessment fee program, paint a bleak picture for the hospital industry in 2014, said Gene Diamond, Franciscan Alliance Northern Indiana Region CEO.
The stock market had an incredible year last year and started 2014 with a bang, said Mark Ennes, a wealth management adviser for the Merrill Lynch's Merrillville office.
The grocery industry is prospering, even though the greater Chicago market is crowded with competition, Strack & Van Til president Dave Wilkinson said.
A Hammond service center, which is one of the largest distributors of tin mill and coated steel products, is starting to see 5 to 6 percent increases in sales.
With one of the harshest winters in recent memory now past, local media is heating up.
The worst winter in memory held home sales back, but all signs are the warming weather will bring stronger home sales as the year goes on.
With Region residents snowed in for part of the start of 2014, retail struggled.
With U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky in the room, members of the Times Board of Economists were not shy in talking about government regulations they have to deal with on a daily basis.
The banking sector remains strong despite in dip in mortgage activity and a wave of consolidations, a Northwest Indiana banker said.
Stack & Van Til president Dave Wilkinson said grocery stores have been doing well, but depend on a healthy economy.
Manufacturing has been doing fairly well, and should see continued strength going into 2014, Berlin Metals president Roy Berlin said.
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