Sold economic growth throughout 2018 with full employment was the prediction by Augustine Faucher, Chief Economist, The PNC Financial Services Group, at the WBA Wisconsin Economic Forecast Luncheon. 

Nearly 450 attendees were registered to hear Faucher in addition to William Fruth, President, Policom, at the event held in Madison on Jan. 22. 

“We do expect a little bit stronger growth, but over the longer term, growth will gradually return to its long-running level of about 2 percent or so,” Faucher said. “You have consumers in good shape, you have businesses highly profitable, you have continued economic growth, you have a boost to business investment and consumer spending with the personal income tax and corporate income tax cuts we’ve seen.” 

The key slide for attendees, according to Faucher, was on Wisconsin’s population. Slow growth in the state’s population is a “big, long-run concern for Wisconsin,” he said, adding that the state is “way below” the national average.

Faucher also stated he expects three increases in the Federal Fund Rate during the year. His full presentation is available on the WBA website at www.wisbank.com/2018WisEcon

During the same event, Fruth unveiled his list of the strongest communities in metropolitan and micropolitan areas of the United States. Fruth examined 933 communities and listed which four Wisconsin metropolitan areas (out of 383) and six Wisconsin micropolitan areas (out of 550) ranked in the top 20% nationally. His presentation is also available on the WBA website at www.wisbank.com/2018WisEcon.