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Regional Growth and Decline - 6/2/15

For a number of years, the fastest economic growth was taking place in states located toward the center of the country.  Oil producing states like North Dakota, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma had been at the vanguard of economic expansion when oil prices were high.  But the fall in oil prices and rapid reductions in oil field investment are now taking their toll on these regional economies. 

The decline in commodity prices has also impacted economies in the Midwest.  According to Moody’s Analytics, areas of Illinois like Peoria and Decatur, where so much large-scale mining and farm equipment is produced, are manifesting considerable economic weakness presently.  In contrast to prior years, growth has become more apparent in the coastal United States.  The rebound of stock prices is helping to support growth in the New York area, while a surge of activity in the life sciences is lifting the Boston area’s economy. 

In California and the Pacific Northwest, the rate of job gains far exceeds the rate of job losses.  Construction, aerospace, technology, retail, hospitality, healthcare and education are all hiring people in large numbers along the West Coast.  The Baltimore-Washington corridor is expected to remain weaker due to tight federal fiscal conditions.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.