The Wilton Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual Economic Forecast Breakfast on Thursday, Jan. 17, and Nicholas Perna, chief economist of Webster Bank, was the keynote speaker.
Mr. Perna’s discussion touched on various aspects of the “financial landscape” he predicts to develop over the course of the year, and he fielded questions from local officials and business owners.
There has been a significant drop in our national labor participation rate, an index of those actively seeking work, but that drop is not fully responsible for the overall high unemployment rate, he said. The U.S. unemployment rate currently stands at 7.8%.
As the U.S. Treasury comes closer to the “debt ceiling,” the point at which it will no longer have authority to borrow money (which is expected to occur sometime between mid-February and early March), some voiced concerns of government bonds being downgraded by rating agencies.
Mr. Perna reminded guests that the last incident of a downgrade occurred over the summer of 2011, when a gridlocked Congress was in a similar debate over the nation’s debt ceiling, prompting Standard & Poor’s to reconsider the country’s creditworthiness.
For more information on upcoming Chamber of Commerce events, visit wiltonchamber.com.