Economic Forecasters Share Optimism

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Growth Expected for Those Willing to Adapt to Shifts in Economic Forces

Doubling down on economic strategy and collaboration critical to continued progress

SYRACUSE, NY – CenterState CEO hosted its popular Economic Forecast event to share insights into the region’s economic climate from the perspective of regional business leaders and economic experts.

The event’s keynote speaker, Peter Kneis, group vice president, Commercial Planning and Analytics at M&T Bank, provided an analytic assessment of national and regional economic trends from the past year, including the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, and a detailed outlook into 2022.

“As with the nation overall, the CenterState New York economy will be dependent on its ability to withstand the labor shortage, wage costs and supply chain issues,” said Kneis. “These issues caused increased inflation in 2021; our 2022 outlook will be driven by the ability of the CenterState New York economy to react to the changing landscape. In all aspects, things will never go back to ‘normal.’  Businesses that adapt while being true to their core principles will be successful going forward.”

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul also addressed the audience to share highlights from her recent state of the state and executive budget, and the state’s vision for driving progress and recovery for region and state in the year ahead.

In his remarks, CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson highlighted the insights shared by this year’s forecasters, as well as his perspective on how the strategies that drove progress before the pandemic will be central to the region’s recovery.

"I am incredibly confident for what the year ahead will bring especially given the exceptionally positive sentiment of our forecasters this year, even as they share the real and daunting challenges they face,” said Simpson. “This outlook reflects the significant progress we are seeing, which is the result of us doubling down on our regional strategies to build an economy based on our region’s assets. While there are more challenges and opportunities ahead, I am confident we will meet them successfully if we remain focused on our core strategies and committed to our long term vision."

The event marks the release of the 2022 Economic Forecast for Central New York. The report includes the perspectives and projections of CenterState CEO members and business leaders from across industry sectors, with data and insight on COVID-19 impacts and industry and employment trends.

Through a survey and focus groups conducted by third-party research firm Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc., forecasters reflected on the growth they experienced in 2021 and shared their predictions for 2022:

  • 72% described their outlook for the strength of their business in 2022 as strong or very strong; up 30% from 2021.
  • 75% expect sales or revenues to increase in 2022, up 31% from 2021 projections.
  • 56% expect to expand products and services in 2022, up 14% from 2021 projections.
  • 68% expect an increase in jobs and hiring in 2022, up 29% from 2021 projections.
  • 49% expect to increase capital investments, up 15% from 2021 projections.

Additionally, 53% say their business endured the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic extremely or very well, with 49% reporting that business is close to being back, or even stronger than it was before the pandemic.

Forecasters also shared that factors like the availability of workers; supply chain - inventory, raw materials; regulatory requirements (COVID-19 related local, state, or federal restrictions or mandates); and ability to maintain workers and productivity were those most impacted by COVID-19 in 2021, and that they anticipate little to no change in these impacts for 2022.

Outside of COVID-19, businesses indicated other environmental factors they anticipate will impact their business in the coming year.

Environmental factors expected to positively impact businesses in 2022:

  • New markets, products or customers due to COVID-19 – the ability to capture new business opportunities as a result of pandemic.
  • Remote Workforce and Operations – the impact on the company’s overall productivity from a switch to, or long-term continuation of, remote operations.

Environmental factors expected to negatively impact businesses in 2022:

  • Workforce and Talent – the ability to attract and retain the right people for existing and new positions, and/or the ability to invest in and develop the skills of the existing workforce.
  • Government Policy and Regulatory Issues – such as existing laws, policies, government procedures or the current political environment.

Forecasters contributing to the 2022 Economic Forecast for Central New York additionally acknowledged several opportunities and challenges that they say impact their projections for their business and the regional economy.

Opportunities:

  • Larger corporations moving to the area, such as Amazon, are having a positive impact.
  • Cooperation among local and statewide political leadership will be integral to the growth of the local CNY economy.
  • New product/service development is a critical component to support business growth and expansion into new markets.
  • There is an opportunity to partner with businesses to address talent shortages and hiring issues.
  • Companies are using technology solutions to offer more services to clients beyond traditional geographic boundaries.

Challenges:

  • Organizations continue to report difficulty finding key talent, and/or attracting highly skilled labor to the area; retention also remains an issue.
  • The cost of materials and supplies across industries is rising, placing additional strain on already streamlined operational budgets, and creating a concern over reduced revenues.
  • There is a high level of employee burnout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Local, regional and/or state policy and/or regulations continues to be a leading pressure for businesses.
  • Inflation is driving up the price of products every day.

The 2022 Economic Forecast for Central New York and Peter Kneiss’ presentation can be found at CenterState CEO’s website www.centerstateceo.com/Economic-Forecast-Report.

The CenterState CEO Economic Forecast is presented by M&T Bank and St. Joseph’s Health. Corporate Sponsors include Dermody, Burke & Brown, CPAs LLC; Equitable, Exelon Generation; Novelis and Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc. Media Sponsor is the Central New York Business Journal.

Post Date

Jan 26th 2022