Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Economic Panel

Sat in on the economic panel presented by the Chamber of Commerce and Forbes Financial Group yesterday. As the article points our Rep. Bost was the most downbeat of the panelists, commenting that the state's financial woes are probably not going to get better until an income tax increase is passed, probably Gov. Quinn's recommendation raising the tax from 3% to 4.5%. He also pointed out that the state's finalcial problems date back to the first time the state failed to fully fund state pensions, back during the Jim Thompson era. The second and subsequent times just got easier.

John Dosier also said that unemployment in C'dale is lower that the rest of the state. The state sits at 8.2% while we only have 5.4% unemployment. A lot of those who are working are still not making enough to put themselves over the poverty line, whihc in Carbondale hovers a bit over 40%

Tim Hirsch of Vogler didn't exactly say what the Southern has him saying. He specifically said Vogler's sales were up 5% for January and February of 2009. No mention of March or first quarter sales figures so sounds to me like he might have been cherry picking figures.

Marcia Simott of Five Star Realty doesn't get any mention in the article but she was relativily upbeat about the realty business in Carbondale, saying we hadn't had a bubble to bust and sales were down about 5% over the past year but with a 3% down payment, you could readily find a 5% morgage with no points.

George Sheffer of True Value kind of rambled when asked what retailers should do. He said there were no booms in the C'dale economy but no lulls either and businesses need to be prepared. Having to get over to the store, I left about then but, according to the article, he did get more specific, saying retailers should not cut back on promotion in times like these.

Oh and newspapers are doing fine. Dennis De Rossett says so.

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