Economy looks good heading into 2016

Posted at 8:03 AM, Dec 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-18 08:03:11-05

Consumer confidence and business confidence. The main focus was optimism at this year's Michigan Economic Forecast breakfast.

"We are likely to have continued growth and with inflation very low, even when workers are getting wage increases of 2%, that's enough to mean that their real purchasing power is going up," said economist, Dr. Charles Ballard of MSU. "That's a really good thing."

Because he said, that'll result in more money spent in local business, which translates to hiring more workers.

Ballard explained, "We've got more momentum now, instead of just barely inching out of the great recession. Now we've been out of the great recession for several years and we're continuing to build on that."

Lansing's unemployment rate was at 3.6% in October. It's the city's lowest since 2001. Tim Daman, President and CEO of the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, told FOX 47 small businesses are helping keep that number so low.

"They're adding jobs, maybe it's a couple two or three at a time, but they're the backbone in giving the region that critical mass to really make the region vibrant and successful," he said.

Daman added that success will only continue.

"When you just look at some of the growth, when you drive down Michigan Avenue now and see the cranes in the sky from Sparrow to the old story Oldsmobile to the University," he explained. "I think it's going to continue to evolve. I think it's going to continue to look differently."

And, as it evolves, the lower class is the group that will reap the most benefit.

Dr. Ballard explained, "We can get more jobs for people who are previously unemployed, people who are not making good wages, that would be I think very beneficial for our economy."

As the great recession now disappears in our rear-view mirrors.

Ballard told FOX 47 a sudden rise in oil prices or a major terrorist attack could hurt the economy.

He says people are less likely to invest and spend money when they're scared.