A report released today concludes that the Los Angeles County economy will continue to improve at a rate of 3 to 4 percent this year, with a majority of Angelenos believing the region is heading in a good direction.
Forecast L.A., which was released this morning at Loyola Maymount University, combines an economic forecast with an opinion poll in which 2,400 Angelenos and their local elected leaders were asked last month about how they feel about the economy. The survey also includes responses from leaders of 60 of the county's 88 municipalities on how they felt about the direction of their city.
"People are increasingly optimistic about their own economic situation and the situation of the region, and then leaders are especially optimistic about their cities," said Fernando Guerra, director of the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at LMU.
"All three trends are merging, mutually reinforcing each other saying that the city of L.A., the county of L.A., are heading in a good direction for the coming year," Guerra said.
The report found that the Los Angeles County economy is heading out of the "funk" that started in 2008 and should see a steady improvement over the next few years, with employment growth rising to 2.5 percent, Guerra said.
However, housing remains a major concern for a majority of Angelenos, with 83 percent of participants reporting that home ownership remains out of reach in their city. The report points to population growth that is outstripping new construction.
Chris Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, said California is not lagging behind the nation in terms of economic growth.
"Let's stop focusing on the short term," Thornberg said. "The crisis is behind us, the economy is improving, and candidly at this point in time, there is no major imbalance in the system that makes me think we are going to have another downturn. Again, let's focus a little farther ahead."
The report is meant to inform the decisions of those in the public, private and nonprofit sector, according to Guerra.
--City News Service