Economic Outlook Breakfast Projects Future Economic Trends

On Thursday, March 30th, The Harford County Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Economic Outlook event, sponsored by APG Federal Credit Union, at Maryland Golf and Country Clubs. Featured speakers, Dr. Darius Irani of Towson University in Northeastern Maryland, Rick Fletcher of The Kelly Group, and Karen Holt of Harford County’s Office of Economic Development, shared economic updates from the federal, state, and local levels.


Harford Chamber Board Chair, Mary Ann Bogarty of Jarrettsville Federal Savings & Loan, welcomed guests and recognized dignitaries in attendance. Debi Williams, Vice President of Business Banking with APG Federal Credit Union offered sponsor remarks, and Monica Worrell of APG Federal Credit Union led the prayer and pledge. Additional event sponsors included: Jarrettsville Federal Savings & Loan, KCI Communications Infrastructure, Rosedale Federal Savings & Loan Association, The John Carroll School, and Towson University in Northeastern Maryland. 


Dr. Darius Irani began with federal economic updates. The national economy is trending up, along with investments, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Government spending increased significantly over the second half of 2022, but customer sentiments remain lower than pandemic levels. Dr. Irani predicts that there will likely be several federal interest rate increases throughout 2023 in an effort to combat inflation. When speaking of Maryland state, Dr. Irani shared that the state’s GDP increased slightly in the past year, but Maryland continues to trend with the national figures, showing a plateau in inflated prices, increased cost of living, and universal understaffing. 


Rick Fletcher shared a recap of the markets showing that the market is trending up over the past three years, but we are currently observing a downward trend. Rick shared that the current market conditions of a high bond market accompanied by high inflation are unusual, but reminded attendees that fear and greed will ruin any portfolio and encouraged everyone to use courage and discipline in their investments over the next year.


Karen Holt concluded the event by highlighting the economic prospects of Harford County. Aberdeen Proving Ground continues to be Harford County’s top employer and federal investments are providing new opportunities, especially in biomechanics and engineering. Karen also shared that Harford County leads in retail and food industries, scoring higher than any other county in eating out and grocery purchases. National layoffs impacting large warehouses have not had any direct impact on Harford County and tourism has returned to pre-pandemic levels. 


Photos were graciously provided by MidAtlantic Photographic LLC. View event photos here


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