Economist predicts construction slowdown

Economist predicts construction slowdown

ECONorthwest president John Tapogna spoke at the Feb. 20 Portland Business Alliance breakfast forum.
Photo credit: Karlie Dru Photography
Despite the many building cranes in parts of Portland, the regional economy is slowing down and new residential construction could grind to a halt as soon as 2020, according to John Tapogna, president of the local ECONorthwest consulting firm.

If that happens, progress being made to reduce inequalities could also stumble, especially in East Multnomah County, where incomes lag behind the rest of the region, Taponga said.

"Housing construction accelerated in 2016 and 2017, enough so that rents fell at the upper levels and increases slowed down at the lower levels. But we're about to get back into one of those cycles where not much is happening," Topagna told the Portland Business Alliance at its monthly breakfast forum on Feb. 20.

Topagna spoke during a presentation of the annual Economic Check-Up report commissioned by the Value of Jobs Coalition, which includes the Alliance. The first report was prepared in 2010, during the depths of the Great Recession, to better understand how the region's economy compares to the country as whole and such similar cities as Austin, Indianapolis, Nashville, Salt Lake City and Seattle.

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