Economic forecasters are pointing to growth in the next six months for
Northwest Indiana, according to a report delivered on Nov. 14 by the
Construction Advancement Foundation (CAF) at its annual outlook meeting.
“Even though the region continues to recover economically the positive
numbers that we continue to see reinforces that Indiana is heading in the
right direction,” CAF Executive Director Dewey Pearman said.
“The next six months could see up to a 4.77-percent increase in economic
growth,” said Micah Pollak, assistant professor of economics at Indiana
University Northwest’s School of Business and Economics. “An increasing
trend in the Gary-Metro area employment, especially in the steel and health
care industries, serves as strong indicators for the projected growth.”
Pollak reached these figures after applying the Northwest Indiana Economic
Index, an IUN-based research project which gauges the dynamics of Northwest
Indiana’s economy while weighing probabilities for economic change. He noted
that the time needed to resolve the issues stemming from the expiration of
the Budget Control Act of 2011, the so-called fiscal cliff, and the impact
of the European economy on investors goals as two indicators which could
jeopardize this growth.
Indiana’s business climate is also being cited as a contributor to the
positive assessment of the region's economic development.
“Indiana’s logistics have led to some tremendous private investment,” said
Mark Maassel, president and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum. “Indiana’s
AAA bond rating means a [CEO’s] chances of a tax increase are less than
someplace else. Indiana can pay its debt and can meet its obligations
without tax increases where other places just can’t.”
Pollak added, “Draw in more manufacturing firms, encourage expansion of
steel production, build hospitals and more health clinics to employ the area
to work with this trend.”
The Construction Advancement Foundation (CAF) represents Northwest Indiana
union contractors working on commercial, industrial, and civil projects. CAF
is a construction industry trade association, affiliated with over 500
contractor companies working in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton, Starke, and