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Experts' Views on Region's Economy

At the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors 2015 Economic Summit on Wednesday, September 9, experts said, "The Washington region must wean itself from reliance on federal contracting and create educational and business environments that take full advantage of the swiftly changing technological landscape, according to a report, posted yesterday, by the Arlington Sun Gazette's Brian Trompeter.

According to Trompeter:

"The region was rocked by federal budget-sequestration cuts in 2013 and that process could happen again, said Terry Clower, director of George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis.

“About 40 percent of our economy is tied to the federal government,” he said. “Like any company town, that makes us somewhat vulnerable.”

"While his predecessor at the Center for Regional Analysis, Stephen Fuller, has discounted the chances of more sequestration cuts during a presidential-election year, Clower was a bit more cautious.

“I’m from Texas,” he said. “In a good part of the country, a little bit of a [governmental] shutdown is not seen as such a bad thing.”

"Area leaders should coordinate regionally to boost economic development; encourage businesses to target products and services toward other companies, rather than the government as in the past; and support export businesses, which shift some of the region’s tax burden to other locales, Clower said.

"Jonathan Aberman, chairman of TandemNSI, said the region needs to cultivate “gazelles” – fast-growing companies. Officials should encourage firms that offer products, which provide a greater return than services, and take steps to keep money generated in the region here, he said.

"Speaking at the Fairview Park Marriott in Falls Church, panelists discussed the current state and future prospects of the region’s real-estate market. They predicted the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates moderately during coming years, and that credit requirements may be loosened to make more people eligible for mortgages."

He also reported that new settlement rules were discussed, noting, "While the new rules are designed to protect consumers, it may have unintended consequences such as higher costs for longer rate locks and cascading impacts if transactions fall through, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors."

Again, Trompeter's entire Sun Gazette article is here.

We growled about economic development in Arlington County on June 26, 2015; March 19, 2015; and, March 13, 2015.

Growls readers who are Arlington County taxpayers, and wish to comment on economic development, should communicate your concerns to members of the the Arlington County Board. Just click-on the link below:

  • Call the County Board office at (703) 228-3130.

And tell them ACTA sent you!

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