2018 was another banner year in Brevard County. Our community saw tremendous progress from our continued economic turnaround. The past year brought about countless ribbon cuttings, higher wages and an unemployment rate as low as 2.9 percent.
So, what’s in store for 2019? For the second year in a row, the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) and Allen & Company Florida Inc. have partnered to bring an economic forecast from nationally acclaimed economist Brian Wesbury. Last year, he connected to the audience with his easy-to-understand language, clear forecasts and energetic personality. Wesbury will bring his predictions and charismatic energy back to Melbourne at the King Center on January 17.
Allen & Company of Florida Inc. has been hosting Brian Wesbury for more than 25 years in Lakeland and now in the Melbourne market. Ralph Allen, chairman of the company, recently noted that this year has been showered with events that continue to impact Americans. From historical acts of Mother Nature to cyber-related privacy issues and unrelenting violence on both foreign and homeland soil, these events define our thoughts, our actions and sometimes our financial well-being. How these global events influence economies and our day-to-day lives is important to understand.
Here are some of his memorable predictions from last year:
They Call Me Mr. Sunshine
“We were too optimistic going into the crisis, but since then we’ve been bullish. The number one reason I’ve been bullish is because I believe in entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity, and I believe we live right now in a world that has more of it than we’ve ever seen in the history of mankind. And I would argue that you (the Space Coast) are right in the middle of it.”
$299 and a 2-Year Plan
“Business investment as a percent of GDP has never been higher. We’ve had a massive recovery in business investment. For example, you have a 256 GB iPhone. Did you know when flash memory was invented in 1991, 1 GB of flash memory was $45,000? Times that by 256 and you’re looking at close to $12 million. Now, you can buy that phone for $299 and a 2-year plan. And when you spend only $300 to get $12 million worth of stuff, you’ve got a lot of cash left over. You want to know why profit margins are so high? Because it doesn’t cost a lot of investment in this day and age to create new things. Today, you can do it pretty quickly and you can do it pretty cheaply.”
Lowest Since the ‘50s
“Our savior is going to be technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. Productivity is booming everywhere, and one of the reasons is we’re changing to a technology economy. A lot of people worry that technology is going to cost jobs, however, what’s fascinating today, the unemployment rate in the nation is 4.1 percent; our forecast is that it gets to 3.7 percent this year (2018) and 3.4 percent next year (2019). 3.7 percent is the lowest since the ‘70s; 3.4 percent is the lowest since the ‘50s. There’s zero evidence technology is stealing jobs.”
The Whole World Gets Wealthier
“I have two sons, 15 and 13, who right now are a drain on family finances. Now, at some point, they get a job and they start ADDING to the family finances, and at that point, we’re better off. So when I think about China and India developing, we WANT them to become successful, because as they grow and begin to earn incomes and raise their wealth, the whole world gets wealthier.”
Watch the full video from the 2018 Economic Forecast Evening at: