During the Spring 2022 Economic Forecast at Cal State Fullerton’s Meng Hall, CSUF economists offered their thoughts on what could come from continued inflation, rising interest rates, current trends in employment and a new era of globalization.

Mira Farka, associate professor of economics, and Anil Puri, professor of economics and provost and vice president emeritus for academic affairs, discussed topics such as rising prices at gas stations, grocery store shelves and restaurants, the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the COVID -19 pandemic.

Anil Puri Mira Farka

Speaking to local business leaders, government officials, policy makers and students, the co-directors of the Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting within the College of Business and Economics noted that the leisure employment sector and hospitality is still hard hit, 17,000 jobs below its February 2020 peak.

“Even though the unemployment rate has fallen, the number of people employed is much lower than before the pandemic,” Puri and Farka reported. “In fact, employment numbers are lower across the board: 676,000 statewide, 56,000 for Orange County, 229,000 for Los Angeles County, and 33,000 for the Inland Empire.”

Meanwhile, double-digit housing market price appreciation has continued, with the median price in Orange County reaching $1.167 million in February 2022. Over the past 18 months, cumulative appreciation prices was 31.9% for Orange County and 16% for Los Angeles County. , 27.5% for Riverside County and 21.6% for San Bernardino County.

“In the near term, over the next 10 to 12 months, we expect continued, albeit decelerating, growth coupled with high inflation: expansion with stagflation dynamics. … Our longer-term view, however, is decidedly bleaker.

“The confluence of an escalating war, rapid rate hikes, unprecedented labor shortages, continued supply disruptions, higher energy costs, soaring Decade-long inflation and continued outbreaks of a once-a-century pandemic can only dim even the most Pollyyan outlook.

Read the full story from the College of Business and Economics.

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