Forecaster: Economy poised for breakout

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    A top economic forecaster told a northwest Ohio crowd Tuesday that there are plenty of positive pressures within the U.S. economy.

    “This economy right now is something like a coiled spring that’s been compressed. It wants to grow,” said Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics LLC of Cleveland.

    The question is: What will release it and when, said Mr. Mayland, the featured speaker at KeyBank’s 2013 Economic Forecast presentation, which was held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg.

    The economist said he believes an easing of government regulations, particularly in the energy and healthcare sectors, would go a long way to increase economic growth. But even in the absence of major policy changes he expects next year to be better than this year.

    “Looking ahead to 2014, I think we are poised for a mini breakout,” he said.

    Strength in the automotive sector, strong indications for housing, increasing exports, and lean inventories all suggest positive movement in 2014, he said. Initial claims for unemployment benefits have also trended downward nationally into the range in which one would expect to see economic expansion.

    He is predicting economic growth of 2.6 percent to 2.7 percent in 2014.

    Although Mr. Mayland’s presentation focused on the U.S. economy as a whole, he said the forecast is essentially the same for Michigan and particularly Ohio, which will see help from exports.

    Toledo has been boosted by exports in recent years. The U.S. Department of Commerce said exports from metro Toledo rose to a record $2.7 billion last year.

    Contact Tyrel Linkhorn at:

    or 419-724-6134.