John Mitchell delivers 2018 economic forecast

John Mitchell delivers 2018 economic forecast

During the 2018 annual Economic Forecast hosted by the Portland Business Alliance this morning, economist John Mitchell said the Oregon business community is starring in one of two movies: "As Good as it Gets," or "Top Gun," specifically, the parts with the "Danger Zone" theme song.

In other words, prosperity reigns, but threats to economic security loom on the horizon. 

Most of Mitchell's hour-long talk emphasized the "As Good as it Gets," element: net worth rising, increases in median family income, a restrained flow of regulatory activity, record job numbers, tax reform, a booming tech sector.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Mitchell noted, rated Oregon as the 9th fastest-growing state in the nation. He advised business leaders in the room to brighten their expectations for 2018. 

Even Portland's affordability crisis couldn't get Mitchell down. He looked up the price of his house at the beginning and end of the year and found it had dropped — in bitcoin, that is — from 360 to 26. 

Mitchell praised the recently passed Republican tax reform package, which cuts the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% but eliminates some loopholes.

"Everybody knew this had to change, Ds and Rs," Mitchell said. "Now we look more like the rest of the world." Cuts to the corporate tax rate, Mitchell predicted, will boost the stock market. 

On the other hand, he hinted that Trump's harsh immagration rhetoric makes little sense in a tight labor market. "Where are we gonna get the people?" he questioned. 

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