Elkhart County Economic Forecast Strong in ’14
The economy in Indiana’s Elkhart County, continually buoyed by the manufacturing recovery including RVs, will enjoy stronger production and personal income growth than the rest of Indiana and the nation next year, according to a forecast by Ball State University economists.
As reported by the Elkhart Truth, gross domestic product, meaning the value of all goods and services produced, in North Central Indiana will grow 4.6% in 2014 over this year, more than double the 2.2% rate projected for Indiana and 2.1% nationally, said Michael Hicks, director of Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research. He delivered the forecast to area business and government leaders gathered at Ivy Tech Community College Goshen, as part of the center’s Indiana Economic Outlook 2014 tour of the state.
Personal income in the region, defined as St. Joseph, Elkhart, LaGrange, Noble, Kosciusko and Marshall counties, will increase 4.9%, compared to 2.5% statewide.
“This is a very good forecast for a region that was really clobbered during the recession,” Hicks said.
Indiana’s 2.2% GDP growth, while much slower than that of the six-county region, is expected to lead the Midwest, followed by Wisconsin at 1.6%, Michigan and Illinois at 1.5% and Ohio at 1.3%. Indiana’s 2.5% personal income growth also is forecast to lead the region, followed by Illinois and Wisconsin at 2.2%, and Michigan and Ohio at 1.7%.
Hicks pointed to a handful of developments over the past year as examples of continued growth in the North Central Indiana region over the next year, including Drew Industries Inc.’s announcement in April that it would relocate to Elkhart County from New York and add 800 jobs by 2017. Drew Industries Inc. is the parent company of Elkhart-based Lippert Components Inc. and Kinro Inc.
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