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Economists Forecast Growth For Indiana In 2018

Business outlook

Photo: Zach Herndon

Panelists say home prices and income are up.

Indiana University economists predict continued economic growth for Indiana, but likely at the same slow pace that’s existed for years coming out of the recession.

Discussion among the panelists at the annual IU Business Outlook event included road construction, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and President Trump’s proposed tax cut.

IU economics professor emeritus Bill Witte says ongoing work building I-69 will benefit the region.

“I think it will be great for Bloomington, or at least good, we are a city that depends on people coming from other places whether they’re students or people coming to football games or people coming to a maybe bigger convention center,” Witte says.

The panel’s consensus on the overall economic outlook depended on the sector. Manufacturing is up from its 2010 peak, while retail sales are down.

Indiana Business Research Center Director Jerry Conover says the local economy in Bloomington is expanding, but slowly.

He says the city has not entirely pulled itself out of the depths of the recession but is on track.

“Overall, it’s not gangbusters pace but at least it’s moving in the right direction and I think that’s something we can all somewhat be content with if not downright prideful,” Conover says.

Conover notes home prices and personal income are up, while unemployment is about 2 percent.

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