Basu: ‘New Bubbles Are Forming’

“Momentum should see us through 2018, but by this time in 2019 or 2020, the economy could be in a far different place and likely will be.” That was just one of the conclusions reached by economist Anirban Basu, shared at the Howard County Chamber of Commerce’s (HCCC) annual Economic Forecast Breakfast.

Basu began his talk with a summary on economic conditions globally, touching on the factors that have led to an all-time high for global debt. “Nationally, we are in the 101st month of the current economic recovery,” he said, adding that no recovery can last forever. In general, Basu said growth in personal consumption has been driving America’s growth, rather than investment.

Since the 2016 election, Basu said that businesses have reported an increase in confidence because of policy proposals for tax reform, a decrease in the corporate tax rate and infrastructure investment. But, that confidence hasn’t led to actual investment yet.

Basu then turned the conversation to Maryland and Howard County, saying that Maryland is currently ranked third in the country for job creation, which he said he has never seen before in his 26 years as an economist. Howard County has the lowest unemployment rate in the state, but he said the statistics don’t tell the whole story.

He humorously referred to Howard County as “schizophrenic” when it comes to development. Basu predicted that there will be a rising demand during the next decade for single-family homes, as millennials enter their mid-30s; but also said demand may not lead to enough new single-family homes being built. That’s because of the mentality of some residents that Howard County has experienced enough development.

 

HCCC Celebrates Vets

The audience in a packed room listened as Fort Meade Garrison Commander Col. Thomas Rickard talked about his life in the service and his role at Fort Meade at the HCCC’s Salute to Veterans Luncheon. He also went into detail about the relationship the base has with the Howard County community.
Rickard also talked about how Fort Meade (and its surrounds) has become a cybercorridor with the base at its nexus, including NSA and the U.S. CyberCommand. Because of this location, his highest priority is to make sure workers can get to work safely and quickly.

The state is conducting extensive work on the roadways in, and surrounding, the base to ease the flow of traffic. Rickard added there are currently several new buildings rising as part of the NSA campus to accommodate the thousands of employees expected to arrive.

 

HCCC Welcomes Yearwood

The HCCC has welcomed Brianne Yearwood as it new director of membership. Most recently employed by AAA Mid-Atlantic, Yearwood has a background in public relations, marketing and sales. She can be reached at byearwood@howardchamber.com.

Jingle Mingle Invites Going Out

The HCCC hasn’t revealed details about its annual Jingle Mingle Holiday Party, but it will be held at The Residences at Annapolis Junction. Tickets are on sale for the party on Dec. 14, and there are sponsorship opportunities remaining. Visit www.howardchamber.com for tickets, and email ksimon@howardchamber.com for information about sponsorships.