The recession is probably over and national and local economies are showing signs of recovery, Dr. Pearl Kamer, chief economist for the Long Island Association, Long Island, New York’s largest business organization, recently told an audience of CPAs and business advisors.
Speaking at the RAN ONE Americas Helping Clients through Challenging Times seminar on Long Island, she also cautioned that it’s too early for any real optimism. “Recent good news about the economy is tempered by concern that the recovery cannot gain traction without substantial future government support,” she said.
Kamer said the housing market will provide clues as to whether the recovery is self-sustaining or dependent on government support. “Housing was a primary beneficiary of the federal economic stimulus, and if home prices begin to decline again without federal support, it may be an indication that the recovery is in trouble,” she said.
Closer to home, Kamer said recent job numbers suggest that Long Island’s employment base may be shifting toward lower-paying industries, with gains occurring in retail trade, educational and health services, and leisure and hospitality industries.
“If U.S. interest rates remain low for much of this year, as the Federal Reserve indicated in its April meeting, the Long Island economy could begin to gain jobs in the next several months. However, job growth is likely to be slow and uneven,” she said.
“We have just endured a transformational recession,” said Kamer. She explained the emerging economy will be structurally different, with consumer spending and housing playing a less significant role.
“We still don’t have a good handle on the types of industries that will take up the slack,” she said. She also said the overall economic effects of the new federal health care legislation remain difficult to assess.
RAN ONE Americas CEO Rick Solomon, CPA, offered seminar attendees ideas and resources for generating new business and improving performance and profits during the current economic conditions.
“I was very moved by how many CPAs attended our seminar on ways to help clients during tough times; it reflects their desire to be of greater service to their clients,” he said. “CPAs were very happy to learn specific ways to help clients better manage cash, improve efficiencies, and improve their business model. Many CPAs are beginning to realize that proactively helping clients improve their business results is a natural, necessary and valuable role for them to play,” he added.
About RAN ONE Americas:
RAN ONE Americas is a provider of resources, training, and network support for accountants and advisors, helping them grow more lucrative and rewarding practices. With offices in New York and California, the company provides its members with world-class software, tools, educational programs, and support, all designed to help assist them and their business clients to prosper and enjoy more rewarding professional and personal lives.