Economist Michael Knetter is forecasting the national gross domestic product (GDP) to grow by 3 percent in 2014.
Knetter, president of the University of Wisconsin Foundation, issued his macroeconomic projections for the year ahead to an audience of more than 500 people at the Northern Trust Economic Trends Breakfast presented by BizTimes Media at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee today.
Knetter projects the national unemployment rate to dip to 6.3 percent in 2014.
A panel of four company presidents also gave their predictions for the year ahead in business.
Tim Ferry, president of InSinkErator in Racine, said his company expects national housing starts to rise 15 percent and existing home prices to rise 6.2 percent in 2014.
Ferry said his company is partnering with technical colleges to attempt to solve its skilled trades gap. He also cited a shortage of engineers.
Steve Laughlin, chief executive officer of Laughlin Constable, Milwaukee, predicted accelerated technology growth as mobile telecommunications and marketing skyrocket in 2014. He also cited the emerging trends of 3-D printing and the local field-to-table food chain.
Katherine Gehl, president of Gehl Foods Inc. in West Bend, said she is "not bullish, but optimistic" about the direction the nation is headed economically. She urged leaders to share their corporate growth with their workforce and invest in their human talent.
"It is important for as the company succeeds, employees succeed," said Gehl, who noted that Wisconsin has the fifth-largest food-and-beverage (FAB) employment in the nation.
Gehl predicted the growing importance of nutrigenomics, the study of the effects of foods on gene expressions.
Sue Marks, CEO of Pinstripe & Ochre House, said human talent is a competitive, sustainable advantage for enlightened companies.
Marks urged employers to "fail forward, hire higher and fire faster."
Full interviews with the panelists and a vast array of economic data, surveys and analysis will be featured in the Economic Trends special report in the Jan. 20 issue of BizTimes Milwaukee magazine.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Steve Jagler
Published Nov. 14, 2014
In recent years, the Milwaukee Bucks have not had much to celebrate when they've conducted their annual preview luncheon with the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. This year, however, there was a tangible buzz in the room at the event, which was held at the Harley-Davidson Museum.
Published Nov. 12, 2014
In essence, preserving net neutrality would ensure that all consumers and businesses will have universal levels of access to a fast Internet, not just some preferred customers who would pay for "faster lanes" on the Internet.
Published Oct. 29, 2014
Over the years, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce and its president, Tim Sheehy, have been vocal and ardent opponents of new taxes. That's why more than a few business leaders were still trying to process the messages Sheehy gave them when he spoke to the Milwaukee Rotary Club recently about the need to raise public financing for the region's cultural and entertainment venues.
Published Oct. 19, 2014
Empower your people to think like entrepreneurs and serve your customers. That was the leading takeaway message from the panelists at the first Next Stage Workshop recently presented by BizTimes.
Published Oct. 8, 2014
The Council of Small Business Executives (COSBE) recently unveiled its list of the "Fastest Five" companies.
Published Sept. 17, 2014
Bottom line: Koss is losing money, has halted production at its plant in Mexico, is pulling back on research and development of new products and is suspending payment of dividends to shareholders.
Published July 23, 2014
If you do a Google search for the phrase "bowling is a dying sport," you will discover that folks have been predicting the demise of keggling since the dawn of the digital age.
Published July 18, 2014
The Milwaukee Cultural and Entertainment Capital Needs Task Force invited business leaders from Oklahoma City, Denver and Cleveland to discuss a new arena, mass transit and other infrastructure projects in Milwaukee.
Published July 9, 2014
Though it may seem counterintuitive, there are times when the customer is not worth the drama, and the customer must be fired.
Published June 25, 2014
Kay Plantes, an MIT-trained economist, author and expert on business model innovation, recently predicted the next big wave of innovation in health care.