Category Archives: News

Small businesses cautiously optimistic

WFMZ

WHITEHALL, Pa. – Small business confidence has reached its highest point since December 2004, according to a new survey from the National Federation of Independent Business. The NFIB, a conservative leaning organization, does a new survey of members each month. “Small business owners like what they see so far from Washington,” the NFIB President & CEO Juanita Duggan says in an article on the organization’s website. “They can see relief on the horizon, and they are much more optimistic about the future.”

To get a perspective more focused on our area, WFMZ contacted Dr. Kamran Afshar, the Chief Economist for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.

to read more click here

Business leaders cautiously optimistic about Trump at Lehigh Valley Chamber event

1/24/2017

Despite an air of uncertainty about the new Trump administration and its impact on Lehigh Valley businesses, speakers at Tuesday’s Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce’s annual Economic Outlook luncheon sounded mostly upbeat notes, with a few words of caution.

The two-hour event at SteelStacks’ ArtsQuest Center in south Bethlehem drew an audience of about 700

To read more;

http://www.mcall.com/business/economy/mc-chamber-lehigh-valley-economic-outlook-20170124-story.html

 

TriCounty Chamber hears economic forecast

by: David A. Kostival, from The Reading Eagle

“Afshar spoke to the chamber as part of its annual economic forecast membership breakfast Thursday morning at the SunnyBrook ballroom in Lower Pottsgrove Township.”

“Technology is replacing jobs,” he said. ….. Many of these jobs have not gone to China; they have simply disappeared and will continue to do so as we continue to get into heavy automation,” Afshar said. “People say we don’t build anything anymore, but the truth is we produce twice as much as we did in the 1970s. We just don’t use as many people to do so.”

to read more click here

Economist gives state of economy address

Mark Reccek , WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Posted: 5:52 AM EDT Jun 09, 2016


ALLENTOWN, Pa. –

Economist Kamran Afshar, PhD, of Kamran Afshar Associates, Inc. (KAA), examined the state of the economy, both local and national, during a presentation Wednesday afternoon at the LC Bar Association in Allentown.

According to Afshar, Lehigh Valley businesses during the monthly of April saw the largest drop in the index of future purchases.

“Businesses significantly cut back on that one thing,” he said, adding the political election cycle leads to uncertainty. “Still a good number of them are expanding.”

In terms of hiring the last six months, there has been a slight drop. The number currently is about 12 percent, compared to 10 percent before the Great Recession.

“However, the number of business who have actually increased the numbers of employees is significantly higher than those that have reduced the number of employees they have,” he said.

Afshar also provided a forecast for hiring in the Lehigh Valley.

“Our current forecast for the balance of the summer is we are not going to see significant increases in employment,” he said. “By the end of the summer we are going to start to see a turnaround but we are at this point in a relatively flat area for net hiring.”

The causes, he said, are due to businesses beginning to become concerned with events that are occurring, and as businesses hire more employees they run out of the type of employees they seek to hire at the prices they are willing to pay.

Unemployment in the Lehigh Valley has decreased, Afshar also said, noting about 20,000 individuals are currently searching for employment.

“However, when you look at the initial unemployment claims, it has dropped to the level that is historically associated with a tight labor market,” he said. “If this trend continues, and I expect it to continue through the summer months at least, this would be the fourth time in the last 30 years that the Lehigh Valley has gone into a tight labor market.”

Unemployment will continue because individuals out of the employment market are not equipped to handle changes associated with certain jobs.

“At least for the next seven months you are going to see a tight labor market,” Afshar added.

Nationally, according to Afshar, the Gross Domestic Product, which crashed during the Great Recession, did rebound but then leveled off between 2 and 4 percent.

“The importance of that is we need to get the economy to about 3 and 3.5 percent,” he said. “Beyond that growth would be very slow.”

Afshar noted the economy typically “gets hot” when growth moves beyond 2.5 percent.

“Last quarter growth was really bad,” he said. “We are hovering around 2 percent growth for the year.”

The May results indicated only 38,000 new employees added to the job market

Almost 200,000 new jobs have been created every month. Since the start of the economic recovery, 80 percent of all the jobs created are full-time jobs, not part-time.

“It is a significant growth,” he said. “Employment is increasing, and that is real.”

Those unemployed for 27 or more weeks, at one point, numbered 7 million. That number has dropped to about 2 million.

Afshar also said many jobs that have left will never return “not because they have gone to China, but because they have gone away.”

“Technology has taken a lot of those [jobs],” he said. “Technology changes and the pace of that change is increasing and has become more rapid.”

Adjusted for inflation, real wages increased over the past 38 years from only $41,000 to $42,500, which amounts to 4.4 percent.

“Real wages have not increased,” he said.

The causes, he said, are due to the automation of manufacturing, which require fewer employees to do a job.

to read more go to:

http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-lehighvalley/economist-gives-state-of-economy-address/39974228?item=1

 

 

Pessimism creeps into Lehigh Valley economy

Local employers’ spending and hiring outlook declines in Bethlehem economist’s index.

By Scott Kraus
The Morning Call

http://www.mcall.com/business/mc-jobs-lehigh-valley-economy-20160504-story.html

 

“Local economist says economy continues to improve”

Lehigh County Bar Association

CLE Seminar

“Recession, Recovery and Now”

Presented by: Kamran Afshar, Ph.D., and Buddy Lesavoy, Esq.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Details and video at:

http://www.mcall.com/business/mc-recession-recovery-talk-20150326-story.html

http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-lehighvalley/local-economist-says-economy-continues-to-improve/32036562

 

 

February’s inflation was 0.2%

February’s 0.2% inflation was mainly caused by higher food and energy price as well as increases in shelter costs. However, thanks to lower oil prices, inflation over the last 12 months was 0.0%.

 

This Week’s Economic Pulse

October 11, 2013

In this week’s Economic Pulse, Dr. Kamran Afshar gives us a synopsis of the week’s economic news, and takes a detailed look at trends in the Lehigh Valley, and important issues to watch in the coming week.”
WDIY

to listen to the 4 minute program click on the following.

http://wdiy.org/post/weeks-economic-pulse-1

 

About KAA – The Market Research Firm

KAA (http://kaa-inc.com) offers scientific multi-media market research and customer satisfaction studies. Operating since 1988, we have developed a systematic way of predicting and preventing customer flight and increasing our clients’ customer bases. Our Ph.D. led initiatives provide scientifically accurate and statistically significant results that turn customers into raving fans.

NEW Feature Program Begins Friday – Economic Pulse with Dr. Kamran Afshar

September 16, 2013

from: WDIY Program Highlights


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WDIY is proud to present our newest short-feature program, as part of All Things Considered.
Economic Pulse with Dr. Kamran Afshar 
will be a synopsis of the week’s economic news, with a detailed look at trends in the Lehigh Valley, and important issues to watch in the coming week. 
This WDIY production will air at 5:45pm on Fridays and Mondays, during All Things Considered. 

Promised Neighborhoods, Lehigh Valley

 

The roll and impact of pre-K education on the community was discussed on Lehigh Valley Discourse, WDIY on  July 18.  To listen go to click on the following link.

http://www.wdiy.org/post/promise-neighborhood-lehigh-valley-discourse

 

About KAA – The Market Research Firm

KAA (http://kaa-inc.com) offers scientific multi-media market research and customer satisfaction studies. Operating since 1988, we have developed a systematic way of predicting and preventing customer flight and increasing our clients’ customer bases. Our Ph.D. led initiatives provide scientifically accurate and statistically significant results that turn customers into raving fans.