In the Keynote Address at Business Facilities’ 14th Annual LiveXchange event, held this week at The Edgewater in Madison, WI, Dr. James F. Smith told attendees that key economic indicators point to up to three more years of growth before the U.S. economy experiences another downturn.
Smith, the Chief Economist of Parsec Financial Management who has been named Best Forecaster by The Wall Street Journal, told an audience of economic development agency representatives and corporate site selectors to keep their eyes peeled for an “inversion” of short- and long-term yields of U.S. Treasury bonds, which he identified as the most reliable precursor to a recession.
“Historically, when the 90-day rate exceeds the 10-year rate a slowdown will follow,” Smith said, adding that he doesn’t expect this inversion to materialize for another two or three years. If Dr. Smith is correct, the current expansion of the U.S. economy could set the mark for the longest continuous growth spurt on record.
Smith added a note of caution which stipulated that his forecast could be rendered moot by an unforeseen geopolitical eruption, such a war with North Korea. He also expressed strong support for the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he called the most successful trade pact of its kind.
14th Annual LiveXchange Kicks Off
Business Facilities Chief Business Officer Ted Coene welcomed leading economic development professionals and corporate site selectors to the 14th Annual LiveXchange event, which kicked off with a reception on May 6 at the historic Edgewater hotel on the shore of scenic Lake Monona in Madison, WI.
“Our goal is to provide corporate site selectors and site consultants with the practical and strategic information they need to make intelligent location choices for their real estate projects,” Coene said. “We accomplish this through our interactive and highly informative Executive Conference Program, and through confidential one-on-one meetings with representatives of economic development organization.
“The unique opportunity LiveX provides to conduct dealmaking in a relaxed setting at a first-class venue is a highly successful formula for business interaction unmatched in our industry. The validity of this formula is enthusiastically endorsed by a growing roster of organizations who have made attendance at LiveX an essential entry on their calendars,” Coene added.
A Dynamic Conference Program
The conference program at the 14th Annual LiveXchange event also featured an incisive panel discussion, Cybersecurity Takes Center Stage, featuring Craig Spohn, Executive Director of Louisiana’s Cyber Innovation Center, and Business Facilities Editor in Chief Jack Rogers. Spohn and Rogers discussed the critical shortage of STEM-skilled workers that must be addressed in order for cybersecurity to flourish as an emerging growth sector.
Rogers noted that an estimated 380,000 jobs in the cybersecurity field currently are going unfilled, a shortfall that is expected to surge past 1 million by 2020.
Spohn warned that the U.S. is falling behind China in its efforts to produce STEM-skill grads needed for critical cybersecurity work, a development that threatens the competitiveness of the United States. “From a global competitiveness and national security perspective, we are not producing enough students with the necessary skills to successfully defend our nation’s intellectual property and cyber networks. Dominance in cyberspace will be a driving force in the military and economic balance of geopolitical power,” he said.
The conference program at LiveXchange 2018 also featured seminars on Evaluating and Negotiating Incentives, conducted by Allea Newbold, Principal of Ryan; Workforce Analysis – Best Practices, conducted by Deane Foote, President/CEO of Foote Consulting Group; Relocation and Consolidation Issues, conducted by Jerry Szatan, Owner of Szatan & Associates; Foreign Trade Zones and Corporate Expansion Strategies, conducted by Mike Michalski, President of MCS Strategies, LLC; and Quality of Life: A Top Site Assessment Consideration, conducted by Jim Colson, CEO and President, Advisors Community.
To register for LiveXchange 2019 April 7-9 in Fort Worth, TX, contact Neil Eisenberg, Group C Vice President of Marketing and Audience Development, at [email protected]