Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Expert Sees Improvement for Economic Future at 2010 North Shore Business Expo

By Maggie Roth
(Photo by Muriel Hoffacker)
Gordon College News Service
February 24, 2010

Amidst orange juice and scrambled eggs, business professionals from across the North Shore gathered last week to hear an expert’s opinion on the future of the United States economy.

More than 2,500 business professionals converged Tuesday, February 23, at the 2010 North Shore Business Expo held at the Crowne Plaza Boston North Shore in Danvers, the largest business expo north of Boston. The event was organized by the North Shore Chamber of Commerce and hosted over 100 exhibits and hiring companies, ranging from small startups to national corporations. To start the day, John D. Katter, Chief Investment Officer of Eastern Investment Advisors, gave a talk forecasting how he thinks the economy will take shape in the coming years. 

“Our economy is recovering from the worst downturn since the great depression,” said Katter at the early morning Economic and Market Outlook Breakfast Forum called, “What’s Ahead for your Business & Investments in 2010” and sponsored by Eastern Bank. “A tremendous amount of job loss has been sustained during this recent downturn. The good news is that things are stabilizing and will soon improve.”

Katter went on to explain that Americans should expect a strong first half of 2010 followed by more moderation.

“When you have a period of easy, cheap money, it ends up in silly places—like people owning eight flat screen TVs,” said Katter. “We’re not going to see a repeat of the decade of the zeroes, but we’re also not going to see a repeat of the hay day.”

Katter said that the 2008/2009 recession was caused by the bursting of a massive credit/asset bubble and that it is important to realize that it will take more than a couple of quarters to unwind.

“We’re going to experience a few strong quarters and then three to eight years of below trend line growth,” he said. “This is a necessary readjustment for excesses in the past,”

Katter also feels that although the job market has hit an all-time low in the recent few years, it is in fact in the process of stabilizing and improving.

“Jobs in our economy are created by the people in this room—small businesses and entrepreneurs,” he said.

Allen Ikalainen, vice president of Mactec in Wakefield, MA, and one of the business professionals who attended the breakfast event, agrees with Katter.

“I think this is positive information,” he said. “This just demonstrates that the small businesses are the people that are going to help grow the job market.”

In accordance to Katter’s predictions, Americans need not fear another recession, he said, but they also must prepare for reasonable and temperate times ahead.

“We all need to learn techniques in order to survive,” said Rosalin Acosta, the New England Regional Manager for TD Wealth Management and also a chair of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce. “A healthy economic business climate means a healthy North Shore.”


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