Firestone Federal Credit Union
Every day, new financial headlines tout the positive and negative signs regarding world, national and local economic recoveries. Locally, while employment numbers are not great, there are signs of improvement, and jobs will lead to recovery. Recent graduates need to be persistent in their job search.
While we do not know for certain what interest rates will do in the future, borrowing rates are currently very low (historically), and yet borrowing remains weak. We encourage our members to stick to basics — fund an emergency savings account, borrow only when necessary. We offer competitive loan rates and terms. As one of the largest credit unions in Northeast Ohio, we will continue to offer great service to our members. Our members are also owners, and share in the success of our credit union.
Assistant vice president and economist
PNC Financial Services Group
Northeast Ohio is experiencing an economic recovery, but it’s been a bumpy climb in the state as a whole. We are confident we are all in a recovery.
Manufacturing is leading the recovery in Northeast Ohio as demand has picked up for automobiles, energy and durable goods. It’s a broad-based rebound. I expect manufacturing to maintain momentum going forward over the next year or two. Spending on capital goods nationally will continue to filter down to Ohio and Northeast Ohio. Auto sales will continue to rise in large part because there is pent-up demand.
Education, health, professional services and business services will be drivers on the service side.
But jobs will lag. We’re not going back to pre-recession employment levels in the next year or two. We’re expecting a slow climb in Ohio.
Government and financial services will continue to be a drag on the economy.
The rate of growth in Northeast Ohio will be slower than the national average in terms of payroll through 2013. The area’s demographic trends, which include more people moving out than in, are not favorable to strong growth.
Even so, overall I’m optimistic for Northeast Ohio because of the trajectory of trends I’m seeing.
chief financial officer
Summa Health System
The economic climate continues to be volatile with few signs that point toward a rapid recovery anytime in the near future.
In the health-care industry specifically, we are seeing a trend toward lower patient volume and decreased revenues. As a result, there is not much major expansion of infrastructure under way. Instead, due to continued low interest rates, we’re seeing organizations refinancing existing debt to lower costs.
We also are seeing some improvement in investment returns, albeit in a market that continues to be challenging.
The other trend that we continue to monitor is the increasing number of companies changing benefit structures for employees, including design changes resulting in higher deductible plans that shift more of the cost of health care to employees and their families. These changes are likely impacting the frequency in which people are utilizing health-care services and we believe they are contributing to lower utilization across the health-care industry.