The president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond believes that the economy is showing strength.
That’s despite feeling that the U.S. economy was on the brink of an economic recession as recently as two months ago, said Tom Barkin, at a Thursday event sponsored by Wake County Economic Development.
Now, though, Barkin believes that the economy is showing signs of strength.
That’s because of recent job and employment data show that the U.S. economy is adding jobs and the labor force participation rate is again growing, which could be a key factor in a “soft landing” for the economy.
There are still some mixed signals in the national economy, with falling stock indices and rising mortgage rates. Still, Barkin’s remarks pointed toward a belief that a recession may not be imminent, as others, including Jamie Dimon, the chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, may believe.
Dimon also spoke at an event in the Triangle on Thursday, as JPMorgan Chase plans for continued expansion to and investment in North Carolina.
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE AND THE FUTURE OF THE ECONOMY
One measure referenced by the Fed official was that consumer confidence is higher and more positive than some might otherwise assume with concerns about inflation, stock market volatility, and layoffs leading headlines in recent weeks and months.
Still, even with the economy showing more signs of strength, Barkin noted in his remarks that inflation will remain a key target and that the Federal Reserve will continue to take aggressive action to get price appreciation for consumer goods like food, shelter, and energy under control.
“No matter what theory you have on inflation, you are seeing promising signs,” Barkin said in a speech delivered at the Potomac Science Center on the campus of George Mason University in Woodbridge, Virginia on Friday morning, the day after the event in Raleigh.
“Inflation should come down. But I don’t expect its drop to be immediate nor predictable,” Barkin said in the Friday speech. “We’ve been through multiple shocks, as I’ve discussed, and significant shocks simply take time to dampen.”
Barkin said that the Federal Reserve will persist until inflation comes down. But that could have an impact on the economy.
One such impact: a recession.
And on Thursday, Dimon said that a recession is “probably” imminent after a wave of economic news that signal volatility in the U.S. economy.
TRIANGLE A ‘SHINING STAR’
But one thing that Dimon and Barkin may agree on is that the Triangle is well-positioned within the overall U.S. economy.
“Obviously, North Carolina is a great state. The Triangle is one of the fastest growing parts of America,” Dimon told WRAL TV’s Sarah Krueger on Thursday. “It has innovation and growth and universities and companies. It’s got everything you need.”
And statewide, the latest unemployment figures show that North Carolina is ahead of the national average, with Triangle-area counties showing very low unemployment rates.
Meanwhile, the region continues to attract investment, with a diverse group of industries. For example, a recently renovated campus in RTP that was bought for $37 million three years ago sold for more than $288 million.
In fact, the Triangle is considered a “shining star,” Barkin said.
That’s because the region continues to attract in-migration from talented workers who are moving to the region and will become a part of the local economy, Barkin explained.
— WRAL reporters Joel Davis and Sarah Kruger contributed to this story
Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire