Dr. Richard Wobbekind returns to Vail to discuss Colorado’s economic outlook on Tuesday | VailDaily.com

Dr. Richard Wobbekind returns to Vail to discuss Colorado’s economic outlook on Tuesday

Special to the Daily
Train tracks along the Denver metro area.
Andrew Coop/Unsplash

The 57th annual Colorado Business Economic Outlook provides a forecast of Colorado’s economy by sector. Each December, the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado presents its forecast for the upcoming year. This forecast is developed in partnership with 130 private and public leaders across Colorado and analyzes changes that have occurred in all economic sectors during the past year and looks at the opportunities and challenges that will shape population, employment, and the overall economy in the coming year.

On Tuesday, March 29, Vail Symposium and Vail Valley Partnership welcome Dr. Scott Wobbekind to Colorado Mountain College, Edwards campus at 6 p.m. for insight on the forecast.

“Dr. Wobbekind has been instrumental in developing the annual Colorado economic outlook,” said executive director Kris Sabel. “While the economy has roared back to life, it is not without its backfires. The war in Ukraine, continued COVID disruption, worker shortages, inflation and housing costs all figure into the economic landscape. Dr. Wobbekind’s insights and perspectives are trusted by business and political leaders across the state. This program promises to be an unflinching look at what Coloradans can expect economically in the year ahead.”

While the impacts of COVID-19 continue to reverberate throughout society and the economy, the recession that ensued lasted just two months. The recession was short, but it cut deep. The human toll was staggering — in terms of lives lost and health impaired. The toll, though, on labor and income was a shock – the U.S. lost 22 million jobs and the associated incomes in a matter of two months. The short-lived recession quickly segued into recovery and the U.S. reached a new peak GDP in the second quarter of 2021. The labor markets are recovering too, adding 18 million jobs back in 18 months beginning in June 2020.

Employee earnings have already recovered above pre-recession levels. Looking ahead, national GDP is projected to increase more than 5% in 2021 — the fastest pace of growth in nearly four decades. Employment is projected to reach a new peak in the fourth quarter of 2022. Consumer spending on goods and services rebounded sharply in 2021 growing 7.9% and surpassing pre-recession levels. Consumption will continue to grow, but at a much slower rate as the economy normalizes in 2022.

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“Colorado and the nation’s economic recovery from the 2020 recession continues, and Eagle County’s economy is thriving, but emerging challenges cloud the outlook,” said Chris Romer, president and CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership. “Economic activity has reached and exceeded pre-pandemic levels, employment in Eagle County has fully recovered, yet real challenges remain for Eagle County. I am looking forward to Dr. Wobbekind’s presentation to learn more about not just where we’ve been, but where we are going.”

Eagle County’s economic activity has reached pre-pandemic levels, yet real challenges remain.
Chris Dillmann/Vail Daily

Nationally, the economic outlook is strong but will rising inflation, supply chain and worker shortages jeopardize other economic gains? And will Colorado match, exceed or lag national trends? Dr. Richard Wobbekind will present key findings from this report to the Vail community.

About the speaker

Richard L. Wobbekind is Associate Dean for Business and Government Relations, Associate Professor of Business Economics and Finance and Faculty Director of the Business Research Division at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He joined the faculty in the fall of 1985. He assumed his initial position as associate dean in July of 2000.

As Faculty Director of the Business Research Division, his responsibilities include developing an annual consensus forecast of the Colorado economy which he has done since 1988. The Business Research Division also produces a quarterly Business Leaders Confidence Index for Colorado and a quarterly new business formation and economic indicators report in conjunction with the Colorado secretary of state. The Business Research Division also conducts revenue forecasts for the Regional Transportation District and several other governmental entities. As part of the BRD research team, Wobbekind conducts various strategic analyses and economic impact assessments of the Colorado economy.

If you go…

What: Back on Track: The Colorado Economic Outlook

When: Tuesday, March 29, 6-7:30 p.m.

Where: CMC Edwards

More information: Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 the day of the program. Please visit VailSymposium.org for more information and to purchase tickets.


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