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Indiana Economy Exceeds Expectations

An Indiana economist says the state added more jobs than predicted and saw gains in auto manufacturing output.

Chevy Volt on The Assembly Line

Photo: John F. Martin/Argonne National Laboratory (flickr)

Indiana's auto industry had a better than expected year, due in part to lower gas prices and higher consumer sentiment.

Indiana’s statewide economy exceeded economists’ predictions in 2015. Director of Economic Analysis at the Indiana Business Research Center Tim Slaper says the state economy was encouraged by stronger than expected auto sales, due in part to depressed oil prices.

“We’ve had a banner year in terms of auto sales,” Slaper says. “And production is also a good sign looking back as well as looking forward into 2016.”

The resolution of some uncertainty in the federal government has also helped buoy the statewide economy. On December 16, Congress came to an agreement to fund the government, thereby avoiding another potential shutdown this year. Slaper said bipartisanship at the federal level has helped raise consumer sentiments.

Slaper also says the Federal Reserve’s decision earlier this month to raise interest rates helped to add certainty to the economy.

“Even if it’s just a small fraction it at least signals that the fed thinks that the economy is doing well enough to do that,” Slaper says. “And it also puts people at ease that ‘Ok, finally we’ve got it over with.’”

 

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