Top 10: Things to know about the Dayton economy right now

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Tariffs enacted by the Trump administration as well as current trade fights were the subject of a report from Ohio State Universiy and the Carnegie Endowment for Peace. The report, which focused on Ohio and several cities, was released this week.

The top 10 takeaways from the report and its authors Dr. Ned Hill and Fran Stewart were:

  1. Dayton’s economy is strong. Consumer spending has kept Dayton’s economy humming, along with stimulus from the 2018 Trump tax cuts. According to an economic report authored by Dr. Ned Hill of Ohio State and Fran Stewart, these factors have mitigated affects of trade war talk and tariffs against Canada and China.
  2. Dayton leads Ohio in PH.D’s. According to Hill, the Dayton-area leads the state in the number of people with advanced college degrees, including PH.D’s.
  3. Fuyao won’t be affected by steel tariffs against China. Fuyao’s move to Moraine was smart – it put the company closer to many of its customes in North America. It also kept it from being affected by tariffs against China, since the company is producing windshields in the United States.
  4. Crop loss could lead to high food prices. With much of Western Ohio’s farmers having a washout season planting crops, food prices could rise. Tariffs might have a different affect, lowering demand on Ohio soybeans. The No. 2 destination for Ohio-grown soybeans is China, which might cut back if trade friction and tariffs continue.
  5. Ohio was the No. 2 state for auto engine production. The Buckeye state was No. 2 in the country in building engines for cars, until General Motors shut down the Lordstown GM plant, which produced the Chevy Cruze.
  6. Ohio is an integral part to the North American auto supply chain. Not just the Big Three automakers but Honda and Toyota have become more embedded in the Dayton-area for parts for their U.S. built cars. This is good because of how important cars are to the economy.
  7. Dayton has become more diversified since the 2000s. Since Delphi, General Motors and NCR left Dayton, the city has become more diversified and entreprenurial. Small businesses across the spectrum have grown in the wake of the 2008 financial crash. This has contributed to growth downtown, companies buying vacant properties in the area for warehousing space. Housing has been a need, and Dayton has been buiding condos and apartments downtown for the last several years.
  8. Major caution signs ahead. Dr. Hill said while consumer spending and stimulus have kept the economy rolling, there are possible problems on the horizon. The Chinese economy is slowing. Stimulus from tax cuts has been cut in half this year and will be cut in half next year. Europe’s economy has been slowing as the EU and Great Britain have struggled with Brexit. The administration is already responding with an expected interest rate coming from the Fed. The auto industry has also reached a cyclical peak, which could lead to business slowing. Locally, the fallout from the tornado outbreak is a major concern – many have not yet been able to find homes or rebuild, and many businesses were affected.
  9. Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The largest single-site employer in Ohio continuest to steer many of the Dayton area’s economic fortunes. The base has projects and budgets threatened by the continued fight in Washington over border projects, which could be funded by cutting programs bound for Wright-Patt. Increase military presence could overseas could also hurt the base. According to Hill, Wright-Patt’s impact is more positive when the U.S. isn’t in theaters of action or not deploying troops. The opposite occurs in states like Florida, which see an increase in activity during times of war or deployment where many troops ship and fly out.
  10. Microbreweries = Healthy city. James Fallows, The Atlantic Magazine columnist, visited mid-sized cities in the U.S. for a year. He put together a list of 11 signs a city was succeeding or going to succeed. His 11th factor – and what he said may be the most telling – was the number of microbreweries in town. “One final marker, perhaps the most reliable: A city on the way back will have one or more craft breweries, and probably some small distilleries too,” Falllows wrote in 2016. As of now, Dayton has 17 microbreweries according to Google’s search engine.  

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