Federal Reserve leader says uncertainty drives U.S economy, but Chattanooga's looks strong
With international policies changing daily, the state of the U.S economy is uncertain. A Federal Reserve leader spoke today about the changes and how they could impact Chattanooga.
David Altig, the director of research at the Federal Reserve in Atlanta, brought his message to Chattanooga at the Chamber of Commerce Economic Outlook breakfast. The state of the economy, he says, is determined by uncertainty.
"Now you can see there's a billion events there continuing to pound us, and we've seen another in the past two days,” he said.
Altig says rising tensions with Iran, as well as upcoming votes on the U.S-Mexico-Canada agreement and tariffs drive down investment, but the economy is still strong.
"Here's the good news, the consumer is just rock solid,” Altig said.
In Chattanooga, manufacturing companies like Volkswagen drive job growth. Altig says that bucks national trends.
"Local policies have been very conducive to attracting manufacturing concerns even in an environment where it's very tough for manufacturing nationally,” he said.
For local leaders, keeping up with that job growth is a top priority.
"The good news is we have a challenge right now with workforce development because we have so many jobs available,” Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said.
"The world is changing. City government used to not have a workforce development facility and now we have a whole department focused on workforce development,” Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said.
While uncertainty still makes big waves, Altig says local policies keep the economy on the upswing.
Mayors Berke and Coppinger told Channel 3 some of their big goals for the future focus on filling the new jobs being created. According to Mayor Coppinger, Hamilton County created 17,000 jobs in the last decade and can expect additional job growth thanks to recent announcements by companies, including Volkswagen.