Forecast: Mixed Signals by Dennis Boone
Chris Courtwright, Kansas Legislative Research Department
Forecast: Partial clearing, with one dark cloud ahead
The Kansas Legislative Research Department was still framing
last-minute analyses for the Legislature’s 2012 session when
the Boeing Co. dropped its bomb: It would eliminate 2,100
jobs in Wichita by moving aircraft production closer to the
Everett, Wash., headquarters.
“Things have changed in the last 24 hours with this Boeing
thing,” Chris Courtwright said, brandishing a refined sense
for understatement. Boeing’s announcement covers just part
of the picture, he said, citing the potential for “an ancillary
impact on the mom and pop machine shops that sell widgets
to Boeing, Beech and Cessna.” Those suppliers could see an
additional 2,100 jobs wither. The impact will be felt not
just in income tax collections, but sales taxes as consumers
in the state’s largest city tighten belts in response.
Shortly before that gut-punch, Courtwright’s department had
improved its forecast for the state heading into 2012. Other
indicators—the oil and gas industry and agriculture, in particular—marked
the economic growth of Kansas over the previous two years,
Courtwright said. But forecasters still anticipated that the
rate of growth would decelerate as spring approached, given
spikes in energy prices, continuing upheaval in the Middle
East and the European debt crisis. “We still anticipate modest
growth in the national and state economies” for 2012, he said,
with state GDP of 4.3 percent for the year.
Economy Unprepared for Disaster
The global economy could withstand widespread disruption from
a natural disaster or attack by militants for only a week
as governments and businesses are not sufficiently prepared
to deal with unexpected events, a report by a respected think-tank
Builders Press for Accurate Appraisal Values for Energy Efficient
As the real estate market has declined, so have
appraisal values. Appraisers, once seemingly over-eager to
ratchet up home values for everyone's benefit but the homeowner,
have apparently put it in reverse, hurting builders more than
any other group. NAHB, the National Association of Home Builders,
has been pressing the industry to make a change.
Announces Top Ten Green Building Projects for 2011
The Committee on the Environment (COTE) from the American
Institute of Architects (AIA)
announced the 2011 top 10 green building projects.
Building Owners Get Help Tracking Performance
"The Building Performance Tracking Handbook" was developed
by the California Commissioning Collaborative with funding
from California's Energy Commission and can be applied to
commercial buildings throughout the country.