Posted by David Martin on Apr 30, 2018
Blake Hastings
Rex Boyland introduced Blake Hastings, who provided the program on the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, San Antonio Branch. The Federal Reserve Bank sets monetary policy, puts money into circulation and supervises and regulates a number of financial institutions. The organization is a system of twelve decentralized banks, with the Dallas branch serving our area.
Blake indicated that the labor market is tight now, and the recent tax reform should help GDP growth up to 1%, but potential tariffs and resulting trade wars could trim that back. Demographics is an long term issue to be considered, since we have an aging workforce.
In terms of economic growth, two factors can help: Workforce growth and increased productivity. But, there are few places in the world where the workforce is growing, namely India and some parts of Africa. Locally, Texas weakened some in 2015 and 2016, but the good news is that we rebounded in 2017 (2.1 % growth) and are expected to grow by 3.4% in 2018.