Speaking Locally 2022

Back on Track: The Colorado Economic Outlook

Tue Mar 29, 2022
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
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The 57th annual Colorado Business Economic Outlook provides a forecast of Colorado’s economy by sector. Each December, the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado presents its forecast for the upcoming year. This forecast is developed in partnership with 130 private and public leaders across Colorado.

This forecast analyzes changes that have occurred in all economic sectors during the past year and looks at the opportunities and challenges that will shape population, employment, and the overall economy in the coming year.

While the impacts of COVID-19 continue to reverberate throughout society and the economy, the recession that ensued lasted just two months. The recession was short, but it cut deep. The human toll was staggering—in terms of lives lost and health impaired. The toll, though, on labor and income was a shock–the U.S. lost 22 million jobs and the associated incomes in a matter of two months.

The short-lived recession quickly segued into recovery and the U.S. reached a new peak GDP in the second quarter of 2021. The labor markets are recovering too, adding 18 million jobs back in 18 months beginning in June 2020.

Employee earnings have already recovered above pre-recession levels. Looking ahead, national GDP is projected to increase more than 5% in 2021—the fastest pace of growth in nearly four decades. Employment is projected to reach a new peak in the fourth quarter of 2022. Consumer spending on goods and services rebounded sharply in 2021 growing 7.9% and surpassing pre-recession levels. Consumption will continue to grow, but at a much slower rate as the economy normalizes in 2022.

Nationally, the economic outlook is strong but will rising inflation, supply chain and worker shortages jeopardize other economic gains? And will Colorado match, exceed or lag national trends? Dr. Richard Wobbekind will present key findings from this report to the Vail community.

This program is hosted in collaboration with the Vail Valley Partnership.

We’ve updated our mask policy. At our in-person events, masks are recommended but not required and we encourage people to be fully vaccinated.

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Richard L. Wobbekind

Richard L. Wobbekind

Associate Dean for Business and Government Relations

University of Colorado, Boulder