A UNLV professor today (Sept. 11) touted the Southern Nevada economy as showing no signs of slowing down, but said it’s never too early for business owners to be prepared for any downturn in the future.
Stephen Miller, head of the Center for Business and Economic Research at UNLV made his comments this morning at Sunset Station in a breakfast event hosted by the Henderson Chamber of Commerce. Several national economists in recent months have predicted the economic boom will end in 2020 or 2021.
“There are no signals that I can see that a recession is in the near-term future of our economy,” Miller told chamber members. “However, as a good manager of a business one always needs to be thinking about what would I do if we did go into recession. Thinking about that now is becoming more important. Our recovery and expansion is about to hit a record in July of 2019 in U.S. economic industry.”
Miller said that recessions, however, aren’t dependent on the length of any expansion. The current boom is second only to the technology boom in the 1990s that lasted about a decade.
“We’ve had quite a run,” Miller said. “I know the concern was the growth rate was slow and not too rapid, but it’s now starting to increase.”
The nation’s GDP expanded by 4.2 percent in the second quarter after a 2.2 percent gain in the first quarter. Many economists have cited the economy overheating with the implementation of business and personal tax cuts and tightening of interest rates by the Federal Reserve as reasons the economy could worsen as early as two years.
Miller said one of the biggest concerns on the horizon is the growth of the economy from the tax cuts, which could cause the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates to curb inflation and slow down growth.
“We know the Fed is going to raise rates this year and maybe a couple of times next year,” Miller said. “They’re trying to head off inflation and too much growth so we don’t dip back into recession. The problem is sometimes the Feds get that wrong. If they raise rates too fast, we could get in a recession. If they raise rates too slow, then we might get an overheated economy and then go into recession.”
The other concern is a potential trade war with President Donald Trump imposing tariffs, Miller said. The cost of steel and other materials are already increasing construction costs in Las Vegas because of the tariffs, he said.
“I have a fear that if all of this negotiation (with China, Canada and other nations) fails we could jump into a trade war, and that could be bad for the economy.”
Meanwhile, Southern Nevada continues to do well with population growth, job growth, sales tax revenue and personal incomes rising, Miller said. He said the rate of increase in home prices should slow over the next 18 months, and thus help with affordability.
Confidence in the economy by Las Vegas business owners and executives remains high for now, Miller said.
The breakfast followed an event last Thursday at the Hilton at Lake Las Vegas, Scott Muelrath, president and CEO of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce, touted how much the region has recovered from the Great Recession a decade ago just by looking at its membership.
Giving his annual State of the Chamber, Muelrath said seven years ago when he started, the organization had less than 700 members, as businesses were still struggling emerging from the recession. The chamber membership has more than doubled to nearly 1,400 members.
Some 45 percent of the chamber members are from outside of Henderson, up from 39 percent, two years ago, Muelrath said. Sixty-four percent of the membership is businesses with 10 or fewer employees he said. Another 7 percent has 100 employees or more.
The chamber honored Bob Anderson, partner with the law firm Snell & Wilmer, with the Spirit of Henderson Award. In seven years on the board, Anderson helped develop a tiered-sponsor base and over the last five years, the sponsor base has grown from 30 to 130.
Kelly Green, executive director of the Henderson Chamber of Commerce Foundation, said events such as Biddin for Bottles, a golf tournament and other events led to more than $30,000 to the Children’s Heart Foundation, the Clark County Museum and 22 Warriors Foundation.
The chamber highlighted having the longest-running business incubator in Nevada at 18 years. With a grant from Henderson, it opened Co-Operate on Water, a collaborative office venue for entrepreneurs at the earliest point in their growth. They can rent office and meeting space by the day and collaborate with other business owners and brainstorm ideas, according to Green.
Some 33 business and community leaders graduated from Leadership Henderson, which was established in 2001. They went through an eight-month program for personal and professional development training and the opportunity to learn about Henderson’s topics and infrastructure, Green said.
Henderson’s 19th Annual Economic Development and Small Business Awards Dinner Gala is set for Nov. 15 at Green Valley Ranch.
The event included swearing in of board members for 2018-19. The executive board includes:
• Teressa Conley – chair; Rose de Lima Campus Dignity Health, St. Rose Dominican
• John Ramous — chair elect; Harsch Investment Properties
• Robert Anderson – immediate past chair; Snell & Wilmer
• Craig Kirkland — treasurer; Nevada State Bank
• Dr. John Hawk — board member; Nevada State High School
• Trish Nash — board member; Trish Nash Signature Gallery of Homes
• Stan Olsen — board member; Olsen Strategic Group
• Dave Beason board member; The Muffler Shop
• Rosie Bone — board member; Raiders
• Dr. Renee Coffman — board member; Roseman University of Health Sciences
• Robby Findlay — board member; Findlay Auto Group
• Aviva Gordon — board member; Gordon Law
• Mary Beth Hartleb — board member; PRISM Global Management
• Windom Kimsey — board member; Tate Snyder Kimsey Architects
• Dr. Carolyn Matzinger — board member; Matzinger Institute of Healing
• Bart Patterson — board member; Nevada State College
• Lestor Romero — board member; Wells Fargo Bank
• Commissioner Steve Sisolak — board member; Clark County Nevada
• Rob Tillman — board member; Levi Strauss & Co.
• Jady West — board member; Cox Business
• Cody Winterton — board member; Lake Las Vegas
The Henderson Chamber of Commerce Foundation executive board includes:
• John Ramous — chair
• Micah Phillips – vice chair; Nevada State Bank
• Teressa Conley — immediate past chair
• Tim Brooks — treasurer; Emerald Island Casino
• Shelley Bishop — board member; Bishop Air Service
• Kelly Brockman — board member; Bank of Nevada
• Jason Chan — board member; Rakuten Super Logistics
• Ken Chapa — board member; city of Henderson, Economic Development
• Joe DiRaffaele — board member; Dg Realty
• Lisa Drake — board member; NV Energy
• DeAndre Esteen — board member; Barclays!
• Linda Gerstenberger — board member; Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican
• Dr. John Hawk — board member; Nevada State High School
• Chuck Mohler — board member; Eagle Corporate Advisors
• Melanie Myers — board member; Assured Partners Consulting
• Alex Raffi— board member; Imagine Communications
• Marcie Smedley — board member; Henderson District Public Libraries
• Frank Tavares — board member; SCE Federal Credit Union
• Gary Thompson — board member; Thompson Traffic Lawyers
• Jeff Wiley — board member; Wells Fargo Bank
The executive board for the Henderson Development Association is:
• Windom Kimsey — chair; Tate Snyder Kimsey
• Stuart Hitchen — chair; elect; SH4 Development
• Chet Opheikens — immediate past chair; R&O Construction
• Teressa Conley — board member
• Robert Anderson — board member
• Tim Brooks — board member
• Larry Carroll — board member; Poggemeyer Design Group
• Patty Charltonboard — board member; College of Southern Nevada-Henderson Campus
• Barbra Coffee — board member; city of Henderson
• Tony Dazzioboard — board member; Dazzio Consulting Group
• Randy Donald — board member; Design Builders
• Jon Fryar — board member; VSR Industries
• George Garcia — board member; GC Garcia Inc.
• Sam Kaufman — board member; Henderson Hospital
• Brad Miller — board member; RC Wiley
• John Ramous
• John Restrepo — board member; RCG Economics
• Councilwoman Gerri Schroder — board member; city of Henderson
• Rick Smith — board member; RDS Properties
• James Stein — board member; Southwest Gas
• John Stewart — board member; Juliet Properties
• Elizabeth Trosper — board member; Trosper Communications