In spite of uncertainty around interest rates and inflation, the South Bay has reasons to be optimistic over the next year. Such was the mixed economic picture painted in the 2022 South Bay Economic Forecast and Industry Outlook, which was released on Oct. 13 at the 8th annual CSUDH South Bay Economic Forecast, where more than 200 industry leaders gathered on campus to hear about the challenges and opportunities facing the region.
Developed by CSUDH economics and public policy faculty through the CSUDH South Bay Economics Institute, the report presented an in-depth look at the economic health of key industries in the region, as well as housing trends, unemployment figures, and recession predictions. The Institute’s co-directors, Associate Professor of Public Administration Fynnwin Prager and Professor of Economics Jose Martinez, and Assistant Professor of Finance Jennifer Brodmann, started off the forecast event with a discussion of the report’s findings, including the cooling effect of rising interest rates on the highly competitive Southern California housing market.
“As of today, demand [for housing] remains very strong,” said Martinez. “That’s what weird for economists, because how do you predict a recession when the economy is doing so well?”
“It seems like the Fed [Federal Reserve] will eventually get what they want—to control inflation—but that will likely lead to a mild recession. Based on the numbers, that’s what we can forecast.”
However, it wasn’t all bad news for the South Bay. The panel also discussed the silver linings of low unemployment in the region and high industry investment, productivity, and innovation.
“We’re really excited for the future of this region,” Prager said.
Moderated by Frank Mottek, of 790 KABC’s Mottek on Money radio show, the South Bay Economic Forecast also included two panel discussions of the greening of the region’s economy. Ralina Shaw, CEO of RSPR Inc., a public relations firm that specializes in representing cannabis start-ups, joined the CSUDH faculty for the Cannabis Panel, which delved into the many regulatory and financial burdens that small cannabis farms and businesses face in trying to become licensed and acquire commercial real estate. Shaw highlighted the need for consumers to patronize small businesses, in order to avoid corporate takeover of the legal market.
“As a community, the only thing we really can do is fight for better policy and then put our dollars where our values lie,” Shaw said. “If you care about Black-owned businesses and minorities having a space within cannabis, make sure you’re patronizing those businesses.”
The Sustainable Transport panel then took the stage, with James Dorris of Odys Aviation, Carl Hansen from Coco Delivery, Mike Ramirez from Avanti R&D, Joel Perler from the Port of Long Beach, and David Reich from Los Angeles World Airways at LAX.
The panelists discussed their shared goals of getting people out of their cars, as well as the need for buy-in and collaboration from government agencies. They also emphasized the importance of increasing California’s grid capacity as more vehicles rely on electricity, and the integral role renewable energies could play in the state’s future.
Watch the full forecast event below: