WILL THIS AGE WELL????.....inflation, higher interest rates and bank jitters were in the news again this week. In the United Kingdom (if you are from Texas let us confirm that the U.K. is not Ponca City) the inflation report for February came in on Wednesday and it was 10.4%. The same day the Fed increased interest rates by a quarter of a point. Earlier in the week, the federal government had to assure people that they will support all banks, not just the big ones. What does this mean for Ponca City? First off, you’ll hear the usual suspects talk about recession or worse. This is whattheydo. The question is aretheyright this time? At some point,they will be…it’s the timing that matters. The fact is that the emergence from the pandemic is playing economically like the end of a major war. Layered on top of that is the huge stimulus funding and a workforce situation that has it’s foundation in long term demographic shifts and we find ourselves in a situation that is unlike previous economies. The bottom line is that no one really knows.
Now even the most extreme modern monetary theorist believes that we can print and tax our way to prosperity so there will almost certainly be a correction at some point. What it will look like is another story. All the banks in Ponca City fall into the “all” banks category and they continue to be strong, healthy and a safe place for your money. From an inflation perspective, the 10.4% rate of inflation was across the pond, not here. The last inflation reading for the U.S. was 6.04% and Canada reported a rate of 5.2% this week. It is also worth noting that the reason why prices continue to go up is because people continue to pay the inflating prices. There hasn’t been much “demand destruction” yet. As to the Fed and the overall economy, raising interest rates is something the fed does to tame inflation, sure, but inflation is a by-product of an over-heated economy. What drives an overheated economy? Jobs and rising wages. These are both good things but history teaches us that what goes up must come down so a more even keel is desirable. Can this balance out without a lot of pain?
PCDA has been saying for some time that if you want to know if we’re in, or headed towards, a recession, keep your eyes on the job market. An awful lot of awful can be overcome if people are working. As of today, there are literally thousands of open jobs in the Ponca City area so we’re looking okay for now. Local industries still report strong orders and planned investment. Sectors more sensitive to rising interest rates are not as robust as they were six months ago, but there are counterweights propping them up. Products for home construction, for example, have come off their highs as higher rates push down new homes sales. Nevertheless, there is a shortage of housing inventory in the nation (and Ponca City) so that pushes back and props up demand to a point. On it goes. For now, we are not in a recession and a so-called soft landing is still possible. The only thing certain is change and uncertainty. The economic context in which we find ourselves is unprecedented and unpredictable. There are still buyers. There are still sellers. Steady as she goes, Ponca City.
DUKE HAS WALLS....In spite of the weather being very uncooperative in March, progress on the Duke building continues. High winds have complicated the installation of the roof panels and the remaining wall panels. With any luck, the vertical wall panel installation will be completed by March 25. The low roof office area will receive horizontal paneling, which will give the building a very distinct and attractive appearance.
NEW DATE....If you showed up at the High School yesterday ready to recruit interns, many apologies. The Internship/Career Fair has been rescheduled for May 2nd, 10:45 to 12:30 pm at the High School. Internships are a great way to identify, coach and relate to the next generation of workers. Sign up for the Internship Career Fair here or contact Jordan Jackson-Gross at 580.718.4878 to get an intern assigned to your location for the 2023-24 school year.
GREAT DAY OF SERVICE.....is scheduled on the first Sunday of City Wide clean up here in Ponca City.This is a 10th Anniversary event where volunteers in Ponca City work to clean up yards and properties for free in underserved areas of town. Last year (2022) we improved 146 households with a team of 625 volunteers! The City of Ponca City received 66.4 TONS of material from the curbside just from our work. Phillips 66 and other local businesses are providing support and informing employee resource groups of this opportunity. Interested employees can sign up at a participating church. Release form is hereand to find a local church to sign up contact Ryan Hampl, Great Day of Service coordinator for P66 and Life Center in Ponca City. email@example.com. Cell 785.787.3604.
SPRING WORKSHOPS.....are happening for business owners and employees seeking to increase and hone skill sets. Pioneer Technology Center is hosting a Chamber Lunch and Learn on Tuesday, April 11th on Public Speaking (see below for flyer) and a "How To" on Facebook Business Suite on Wed, April 19th.
Need to get a little networking accomplished? Business on the Balcony here at City Central begins its 2023 season on Tuesday, April 11th at 7:00 am. Staff understands if that is a bit too early to be on your best networking game, so just plan to swing by before 8:30 am to meet with some local business people and owners and pick up a quick bite of breakfast. The schedule for all the B on the B's is listed below as well as all the flyers for upcoming programs.
Friday, March 24 // Ponca Politics // City Hall
Legislative Forum at12 p.m.
with Sen. Coleman, Rep. Luttrell, and Rep. Pfeiffer
Tuesday, April 11 // Business on the Balcony // City Central
7:00 to 8:30 am on the Balcony 2nd Floor
Come and go; networking & breakfast
Tuesday, April 11 // Public Speaking Lunch & Learn // PTech
11:30. Call Tiffany at the Chamber 765.4400
to sign up. $10 - Flyer below
Friday, April 14th // Ponca City Senior Center Open House
Check out all the new at the Senior Center
319 W. Grand from 4 to 6 pm.
Sun, April 23 // Great Day of Service // Ponca City Clean-up Week