Economic Forecasters Predict Steady Growth for 2016

Posted on January 12, 2016

Ceo 0081 2016 Econ Forecast Web Page1

CenterState CEO: $500 Million State Investment Provides New Hope to Transform Regional Economy

SYRACUSE, NY – More than 600 people attended CenterState CEO’s sold-out 2016 Economic Forecast Breakfast at the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center at Oncenter, today in Syracuse. Business and community leaders gathered to gain insights into the current economic climate in the region from their peers and experts.

M&T Bank Regional Economist Gary Keith presented the event’s keynote address, providing an analytic assessment of national and regional economic trends from the past year, and an outlook moving forward.

“The CenterState New York regional economy continued to evolve and slowly expand in 2015, but activity remained behind the U.S. norm,” said Keith. “Diversification and investment in ‘new economy’ sectors, rather than ‘slow growth’ industries on which it has typically relied, is a key pathway to energizing economic growth in Central New York.”

According to Keith, “Policies focused on attracting and deriving a larger portion of output from high potential industries like education and health care, advanced manufacturing, business services and tourism can lead to stronger employment and personal income growth. Reshaping our economic base to become more like the rest of the country in this respect, aided by funding from the recent Upstate Revitalization Initiative competition, will help accelerate this process.”

The event marks the release of the 2016 Economic Forecast Report for CenterState New York.  The report includes the perspectives and projections of nearly 200 CenterState CEO members and business leaders from 14 industry sectors, and includes key market data from Manpower Inc. on industry, occupation, employment, and earning expectations through 2019.

Through a survey and focus groups conducted by third-party research firm Research & Marketing Strategies, Inc., forecasters reflected on the growth they experienced in 2015 and shared their predictions for 2016:


  • 58% experienced growth in 2015, down from 63% in 2014.

  • 63% anticipate increased sales or revenue in 2016; down 8% from 2015 projections.

  • 58% expect to expand product and services in 2016, down 1% from 2015 projections.

  • 47% expect profits to increase in 2016, down 7% from 2015 projections.

  • 44% expect an increase in jobs and hiring in 2016, down 7% from 2015 projections.

The 2016 CenterState Economic Forecast additionally identified several opportunities and challenges that forecasters say impact their projections for their business and the regional economy.

Opportunities include:

  • Advances in technology have the potential to create competitive advantages and new efficiencies.
  • Collaboration and realignment will enable competitiveness and growth.
  • New tourism attractions draw people to the region the regional economy.

 Challenges include:

  • Attracting and retaining skilled talent.
  • Managing the increasing costs of benefits.
  • Navigating an increasingly complex local, state and national regulatory environment.

Forecasters were optimistic that a potential investment made by the state through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative could dramatically change perspectives on growth and opportunity. Shortly after Forecasters submitted their projections, the state awarded Central New York $500 million for economic development.

In his remarks, CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson echoed forecasters’ confidence that the $500 million award given to Central New York provided an unprecedented opportunity to dramatically accelerate the trajectory of the region’s economy.

“The predictions and sentiments shared by our forecasters tell the tale of how our economy has performed for too long – slow and steady. The truth is, we have not seen any major growth curves for several decades,” said Simpson. “But I believe there is reason for new hope given the monumental investment in Central New York by the Governor’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative. When our region came togetherto develop a bold and ambitious plan, we demonstrated our will to no longer accept the status quo for our economy.  We have a clear vision of a future where we are more than who we are today; we are daring to be better,” said Simpson.

In closing the event, Simpson charged attendees to get behind CNY’s plan and work collaboratively to apply the $500 investment so that the words moderate, static and stagnant are no longer representative of the regional economy five years from now.

The 2016 Economic Forecast for CenterState New York can be found at CenterState CEO’s newly released website

The CenterState CEO Economic Forecast is presented by M&T Bank. Corporate Sponsors include Dermody, Burke & Brown CPAs LLC, Time Warner Cable Business Class, Manpower, Inc. and RMS; Media Sponsors are Syracuse Media Group, News Radio 570 WSYR Now on 106.9 FM, Business Journal News Network, and Visual Technologies.

About CenterState CEO

CenterState CEO is an independent and forward thinking economic development strategist, business leadership organization and chamber of commerce; dedicated to the success of its members and the prosperity of the region. We serve as an advocate and resource for smart business, catalyze and facilitate regional growth, and promote community prosperity through results-driven partnerships, planning and problem-solving.

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