Ball State reports cautions Indiana's economy may start to slow

The Ball State University campus in Muncie, Indiana. A Ball State professor report warned the economy may start to slow in the next few months.

A report from Ball State University cautions the economy in Indiana may start to slow.

“While we expect the pace of U.S. GDP growth to be at or near 3 percent in 2018, we anticipate it slowing to 2.3 percent in 2019,” economist Michael Hicks, director of Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research, said recently at the 23rd annual Indiana Economic Outlook Luncheon at Muncie’s Horizon Convention Center. “Indiana’s economy will grow more slowly at 2.1 percent and will add roughly 20,000 jobs over 2019. Fewer qualified workers will be available in the short to medium term.”

With the national economy in its ninth year of expansion, the unemployment rate is below what's generally considered full employment, and wages have started to grow. But larger budget deficits, a growing trade war, and monetary policy could contribute to a coming slowdown in Indiana's economic growth, Hicks said. 

“The monetary policy response is the inevitable tightening, which has seen policy and market (interest) rate increases throughout 2018,” Hicks said. “We anticipate between two and four more rate increases from the Federal Reserve by the end of 2019.”


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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.