With the new year upon us, it’s time to take a look at what 2013 may hold. Recently the head of the Kentucky Chamber did just that. Dave Adkisson says Kentucky’s economy will rise and fall with the global economy, especially with what happens in Washington, D.C. and on world financial markets. But he’s optimistic because several ‘building blocks’ for Kentucky’s economy are getting well.
“Automotive seems to be doing well and the demand will pick up in 2013. Homebuilding seems to be picking up after several dismal years,” said Adkisson. “Agriculture had a great year in 2012 in spite of the drought and we’re relatively optimistic about 2013. Coal is uncertain because of the regulations in Washington and the natural gas markets.
Adkisson says two issues in Frankfort – public pension reform and taxes – will help shape the state’s economic outlook. He identifies training the future workforce to compete with other states and countries as the state’s greatest long-term issue.
Business confidence, according to Adkisson, is a huge factor in whether the economy will move up or down. He says Washington getting its house in order and stability on world markets will be keys to creating the confidence needed to make 2013 a good year for Kentucky’s economy.
“When businesses decide to invest more money or to hire more people they’re doing that based on some level of confidence. And that’s what I’m hoping to see in 2013, more confidence in the business community,” he said.
For the state and its citizens to prosper, Adkisson says businesses must profit. When they do, he says they make investments and hire people that benefit everyone.
“Something that we all agree on, we need more Kentuckians back to work,” said Adkisson. “Unemployment is gradually coming down but it’s still way too high. None of us are satisfied with 7 ½ - 8 percent unemployment. So we want to see that come down in 2013 and more people get back to work.”