SHERIDAN — A select group of Sheridan investors met at the Best Western Sheridan Center Thursday afternoon to hear an overview of the current economic climate from First Interstate Bank Staff Economist and Senior Investment Manager Rick McCann. The presentation targeted the bank’s customers and Sheridan community leaders.
McCann projected that Wyoming’s economy is likely to see improvement in the pace of economic growth over the coming year, but along with the rest of the nation, recovery from the recession isn’t happening as quickly as it might have in years past.
“The U.S. is no longer a stand-alone island when it comes to economic growth,” he said.
“Normally, when we come out of an economic recession, we see 4 to 6 percent growth in U.S. (Gross Domestic Product) in the couple of years following that,” McCann said.”This time, we haven’t even made it back to 2 percent except for couple of quarters in the last three or four years. So, it has been different this time and part of that is because we are dependent on that global economic recovery.”
McCann added that unemployment rates and the housing markets are both indicators that point to gradual, yet slow, recovery for the national economy, but the 2009 recession left some deep wounds.
“There’s been just a tremendous loss of not only confidence, but in momentum in those particular economies, and it’s been just recently that they’ve begun to peek their nose above the window and begin to see, maybe, the light of day,” McCann said.
“If we had not suffered The Great Depression in the 1930s, I think this would be known, and will probably be known historically, as the Great Depression of our era.”
McCann indicated the government shutdown is not a big economic factor, but it could become one if the standstill continues for a significant period of time.
“The biggest factor, and the one that could tip us upside down, is if the debt ceiling is not increased,” he said, adding it’s unlikely the federal government will default on an interest payment, but it would mean the treasury would be unable to issue treasury securities to cover overall government debt.