State Economists Speak About Oregon’s Economy

From the Portland Business Alliance:

At the Portland Business Alliance’s breakfast Forum on June 16, three top Oregon economists gave their view on the state of the region’s economy. Tim Duy, head of the University of Oregon’s Economic Forum, Tom Potiowsky, State of Oregon Economist, and John Topogna, President of ECONorthwest, all had informative opinions to share.

The economists seemed to agree on two main points:

  • The economy is recovering slowly; and
  • There are still major flaws with Oregon’s budget structure, which have been causing economic challenges in this state for years.

Duy and Topagna pointed to the decline in personal income that has occurred in the state during the past ten years. When you match declining personal incomes with growing state services, you are going to constantly come up short.

Topagna pointed out that if we no longer have the income level we did in the 1990s, then we need to rethink how we deliver public services and to look at Idaho as a model as opposed to Washington state in terms of services provided.

When asked about the impact of Measurs 66 and 67, Potiowsky said that the numbers are not in yet and it will take a few years of tracking state revenues and population movement to see if there is an impact.

All three economists also pointed to Oregon’s tradition of coming out of the recession later than the rest of the country so the state should brace itself for several years of financial hurdles.

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