Economist Forecasts Continued Growth for Santa Cruz County

SANTA CRUZ >> Around 100 local business leaders gathered at UC Santa Cruz on Thursday to discuss the pros and cons of working in Santa Cruz County and the region’s economic outlook.

It was the Santa Cruz County Business Council’s annual economic forum and the main speaker, Robert Kleinhenz, executive director of economic research at the Los Angeles firm Beacon Economics, delivered good news.

“There’s no recession in sight over the next 18 months,” Kleinhenz said.

A wobbly Chinese economy and Brexit won’t cause a prolonged downturn in the U.S. market, he said. Consumer, business and government spending all have shown solid growth. Unemployment is down. In California, jobs have been added faster than anywhere else in the country for the past four years. Also, oil prices are down, which is good, because it allows people to spend money on other things, he said.

Same thing goes for Santa Cruz County — economic indicators such as employment rates and consumer spending are good.