State of the Economy

Nearly 200 members of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce recently got together to learn what the economy might bring in the year ahead. Officials with the Chamber and Calamos Investments co-hosted the annual Regional Economic Forecast. National and local experts provided their insight and analyses for the upcoming year, so that owners can manage their businesses better.

“I think it’s very important for our businesses,” said John Schmitt, President & CEO of the Chamber. “These are the months where many businesses do their planning and try to have an outlook.”

DePaul University Professor of Economics Michael Miller believes economic growth will continue, but unemployment will remain high. He also said the housing market will not grow until unemployment lowers. He did have some good news.

“What’s the probability that we’re going to have a recession in the near future? I don’t see it,” said Miller. “Things are going in the right direction.”

That news was a sigh of relief for many of the business owners in the crowd.

“We’ve got a Band-Aid on and hopefully we’re going to start healing, and get back to business again,” said Ray Kinney, President of Minuteman Press.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director of Tax Policy Caroline Harris spoke about taxes in the upcoming year, but said a lot depends on decisions made by Congress. Right now a congressional committee has to find $1.5 trillion to cut from the federal budget by Thanksgiving.

“I’m not particularly optimistic they’ll get all of the way there,” said Harris. “I want to be. It’s advantageous for both sides of the aisle to get something done.”

The local panelist was Chairman and CEO of Calamos Investments John Calamos. He’s recommending investors look towards global companies.

“Global companies are really at an advantage here, they can move from place to place, country to country, to find opportunity,” said Calamos. “Capital goes to where it’s treated best. So investors look at that.”

In an attempt to end the discussion on a positive note, the panelists reminded the audience that the economy has been through tough times before, but has always made it through.

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