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KADAC Forecasts Slower Growth for Lehigh Valley

by Janelle Hill Feb 14, 2020

The Lehigh Valley can expect to see a slowdown in economic growth in 2020. 

Dr. Kamran Afshar, director of the Kamran Afshar Data Analytics Center at DeSales University, released the results of the latest Lehigh Valley Business Sentiment Index (BSI) along with students Matthew O’Neill, Emma Stanfield, and Tyler Sarge.

“We are expecting slower economic growth this year but none of this data indicates a recession,” Afshar said. 

According to the data, local businesses are slowing down on the hiring front, a trend that’s been seen since the beginning of 2018. Afshar also noted a drop in the momentum of hiring and predicts the end of the valley’s rapid growth process. 

The survey also wasn’t without some surprises. While hiring decreased over the last six months, purchasing actually went up—something Afshar calls a new event and attributes to the fear of new tariffs. 

“It’s something that we weren’t expecting,” he said. “This is the first time I have seen this, and I’ve been doing this a lot of years.”

While students have worked on the BSI with Afshar in the past, this is the first survey that they participated in from the very beginning working with raw data and SPSS software. 

“We were more involved this time because we were the ones who actually put together this data and made the charts,” says Sarge ’20, a mathematics major who is looking to work in data analytics. “Learning this very important software is going to be meaningful for my career.”