Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Virginia Peninsula Chamber Hosts Economic Forecast Breakfast

After a 15-month hiatus precipitated by the covid-19 pandemic, the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce will host its first live event in partnership with Old Dominion University’s Stome College of Business. Economists from ODU’s Dragas Center for Economic Analysis and Policy will deliver their midyear forecast on June 17, 2021 from 7:30 – 9:30am at the Newport News Marriott at City Center. Individual tickets and sponsorship packages can be purchased online.

Dr. Robert McNab will deliver the national and Virginia midyear forecast update. For the first time since Mach 2020, covid-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths are declining in all 50 states. With 75 percent of Americans over the age of 65 fully vaccinated, and 60 percent of adults having at least one vaccination, the economic recovery from the pandemic has arrived. However, the economy has changed. Millions remain outside the workforce, and supply chains remain constrained from the shocks of last year. As prices rise and workers demand higher wages, can economic growth be sustained in the face of increasing inflation? Will interest rates rise or will price increases moderate later in the year? These are a few of the issues that will be examined in the national and state forecasts.

Dr. Vinod Agarwal, Chair of ODU’s Economic Forecasting Project, will deliver the regional forecast. At the regional level, the latest data indicate a stagnant job market. The hotel industry was devastated by the pandemic, especially the Williamsburg market. The pace of recovery in this industry will be discussed. The residential housing market appears to have escaped the brutal impacts of covid-19. The impact of the pandemic on movement of cargo at the Port of Virginia will also be discussed.

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