Times Board Of Economists
The gaming market has largely stabilized in Northwest Indiana, with the immediate impact of Illinois moves like slots in bars and the Rivers Casino opening there now fading.
The banking sector has been improving gradually over the last couple years, and should continue to make positive gains, a Northwest Indiana banker said.
Enrollments at Indiana University Northwest increased again this fall, but the Gary school seems to be the exception, according to Micah Pollack, Indiana University Northwest professor of economics.
Grocery stores are working to remain relevant to customers, such as by offering more natural foods, said Stack & Van Til president Dave Wilkinson.
Major financial markets have been performing well, but the shutdown could slow the pace of growth, a Northwest Indiana investment adviser said.
The manufacturing sector continues to improve, and the steel industry in particular has been buoyed by strong auto sales, Berlin Metals president Roy Berlin said.
The base of activity in Northwest Indiana's construction market is broadening, with residential and commercial activity now rebounding after years of lackluster performance.
Northwest Indiana home sales have increased on a year-over-year basis for 27 straight months due to better consumer confidence, increased employment and low interest rates.
Gas consumption has been flat in Northwest Indiana though prices have come down from the high $3 range, said Tom Collins, the chief executive officer of fuel distributor and retailer Luke Oil.
Lake County's last-in-the-state local income tax is now nicking wage earners' paychecks, but they will get something back for their money.
Despite the best efforts of Washington politicians to cripple U.S. economic growth, American businesses are overcoming all odds to build a sustained recovery.
As the economy improves, advertisers are staying loyal to what works, whether that be traditional or new media, said Jennifer Finnerty, Radio One Communications general manager.
Despite a one-year reprieve for small businesses, Obamacare remains a looming uncertainty for restaurants and others.
Small retailers are already preparing for the holiday season, while still striving to catch the last of summer and back-to-school shoppers.
Short line railroads like South Shore Freight are powering the nation's rail recovery, with total carloads on short lines up 7.5 percent compared to one year ago, according to Railway Age magazine.
Natural gas prices continue to trade within moderate ranges, despite some fears demand from gas-fired electric generating plants might drive up prices during the summer.
It's hard to compete with a project employing more than 10,000 workers, but the local construction industry is hopeful renewed vigor in some sectors can fill the gap left by the winding down of the BP Whiting Refinery expansion.
Northwest Indiana Realtors are riding a wave of almost two years worth of monthly sales increases, while keeping a wary eye out for market changes that could affect future sales.
Restaurant owners still worry about beef prices and the weather, but Obamacare remains No. 1 on the list of unknowns facing the industry.
Small retailers are keeping a wary on eye on prices while looking for new ways to better serve the customer.
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