As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, I am pleased to share the 20th edition of the Sacramento Business Review – the most comprehensive, precise, and intellectually sophisticated analysis of the regional economy. For over TEN years, our team has provided thoughtful predictions that have accurately forecasted the area’s economic and business climate. With Sacramento’s very best financial analysts and researchers combining their skills and talents, the Sacramento Business Review is the most credible source of independent thinking, insights, and research on our economy in the region. Our 10th anniversary milestone represents the success and commitment of our analysts who do this work entirely as a public service to the region. We plan to continue doing this as long as our team continues to enjoy producing the forecast.
We are now celebrating the longest economic expansion in U.S. history – a bull market that has extended itself with strong synchronized global growth. The U.S. real economic growth rate of 4.1% last quarter exceeded the unemployment rate of 3.9% – a situation not seen in almost 25 years! Sacramento enjoyed a booming labor market that slashed the unemployment rate to a record low of 3.3%, well below the national and statewide averages, and an impressive decline from the all-time high of 13.5%. This is the best job growth we have seen in decades – nationally, there were 6.7 million jobs available and only 6.1 eligible workers available to fill those jobs.
Small businesses remain optimistic about future hiring and access to credit. Consumer sentiment remains high but is less optimistic and less positive than national averages. The real estate market continues to exhibit strength with declining vacancies, increasing rents, and rising median home prices. Banks stayed strong while credit unions experienced weakness in loan growth likely due to a flattening yield curve. Our Financial Conditions Index is now at its PEAK. Can Sacramento sustain this level of economic performance?
The U.S. economy is in its final leg of robustness with tremendous tailwinds coming from tax reform, spectacular corporate earnings, low inflation, record business and consumer confidence, and improved personal incomes. Our region enjoys many of the same tailwinds, and the R word is not on the horizon.
I invite your feedback. Please do not hesitate to let me know how we may improve future issues or if you wish to be a supporting partner. To download your free copy, please visit sacbusinessreview.com.
Sanjay Varshney, Ph.D., CFA
Chief Economist, Sacramento Business Review
firstname.lastname@example.org | (916) 799-6527