The central coast economic forecast has been hosted virtually this year and most of the discussion has revolved around the economic impacts caused by the pandemic at the national and local levels.
Christopher Thornberg, Dr Taner Osman and Adam Fowler of Beacon Economics led the discussion.
Thornberg, the founder of Beacon Economics, said the onset of the pandemic marked the deepest and shortest recession in history.
Thornberg characterized the fall and rise of the economy in four levels: recession, recovery phase 1, recovery phase 2 and recovery phase 3. He said that if there was any control over the slowdown the spread COVID-19, the economy is expected to return to normal by the second half of 2021.
âThe economy is already recovering,â Thornberg said. “The worst quarter in economic history followed by the best. We are still a long way from returning to full normality, but with good news on the vaccine front, this path is pretty much set in stone.”
When it comes to the cost of housing, Thornberg says the lack of housing supply continues to impact housing affordability in San Luis Obispo County, which has prompted many Californians to leave the city. State.
Dr Taner Osman, director of regional analysis for Beacon Economics, said that before the pandemic, the economy of San Luis Obispo County was doing well and had sustained job growth. However, by April and May 2020, one in five jobs and then one in six jobs had been lost in the local economy.
There has been a silver lining in recent months, as transitional occupancy taxes in August topped 2019 totals. Yet the tourism and service industries have been significantly affected by COVID-19.
âIn hotels and restaurants, there was a 42% contraction in business activity, and gas stations and gas stations experienced a contraction of about 44%,â Osman said. âIt makes a lot of sense. We drive less, we work from home, there is less demand for gasoline. The good news is that if we look at the most recent data provided to us by the credit card companies we can see in San Luis Obispo, spending activity has picked up. “
Thornberg and Osman agree that by the second half of 2021, improvements in the economy will likely continue.