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Research

Cohousing Communities: Can Connecticut Benefit?

In this episode of the CERCONOMY podcast, Alissa DeJonge, CERC's VP of Research, is joined by Patricia McLaughlin, our Governance and Research Analyst, to discuss cohousing - planned communities of private homes clustered around shared space. Cohousing combines private homes with benefits of shared common facilities such as laundry facilities, recreational areas, and guest suites.  This structure affords the opportunity for residents to age in place, and is a more sustainable approach to living.

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by Alissa DeJonge  |    |  Comments 

Using a Fiscal Health Analysis to Support the Municipal Budgeting Process

The decline in property values after 2008 created remarkable challenges for Connecticut municipalities, which rely heavily on property taxes to fund local government. Many towns receive over 90% of their revenue from property tax; yet between 2008 and 2016, only 8 of the 169 municipalities experienced an increase in their real (inflation-adjusted) net grand list—which means the vast majority of Connecticut’s towns have experienced an erosion of purchasing power over the last several years. At the same time, budget issues at the state level have resulted in declining aid to municipalities, and other trends such as demographic shifts and regional economic conditions may impact local fiscal performance over the longer term.

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by Rachel Gretencord  |    |  Comments 

Exploring Economic Indicators

economic indicators

In this episode of CERCONOMY, CERC's Vice President of Research, Alissa DeJonge, is joined by members of the Research department - Moshi Ying, Rachel Gretencord, and Sarah Ficenec - to discuss the economic indicators that are most important in their work, and what each means for the Connecticut economy.

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by Alissa DeJonge  |    |  Comments 

How Issues Influence the Connecticut Vote

Next Tuesday is Primary Day in Connecticut. As Connecticut residents, we should get out and express our preference for who should represent us in the U.S. Congress, the General Assembly, and as governor for the next few years.

Last quarter, the InformCT Consumer Confidence Survey included a question asking respondents to identify how various issues influence their votes for Congress, GA, and Governor. They were asked whether each issue – including taxes, climate change, and education – was very important, somewhat important, etc. when voting.

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by Sarah Ficenec, Ph.D.  |    |  Comments 

CT Consumer Confidence Survey Results from 2nd Quarter of 2018

Connecticut residents are increasingly upbeat about the state’s economy, expressing more optimism about business conditions and the prospects for an improving economy than has been seen in years. And about two-thirds of Connecticut residents cited employment and jobs, healthcare, and taxes most frequently as very important issues they’ll consider when voting in elections this year – whether the candidates are running for Governor, the state legislature or the U.S. Congress.

Alissa DeJonge, CERC's Vice President of Research, discusses the results of the latest InformCT Connecticut Consumer Confidence Survey.

by Alissa DeJonge  |    |  Comments 

Trends Affecting Connecticut Industries

In this episode of CERCONOMY, Alissa DeJonge, CERC’s VP of Research, walks through the changes and trends that are affecting Connecticut’s main industries including healthcare, insurance, retail, warehousing, financial services, manufacturing, and construction.

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by Alissa DeJonge  |    |  Comments 

Supply Chain - The Butterfly Effect

Butterfly effect: A property of chaotic systems (such as the atmosphere) by which small changes in initial conditions can lead to large-scale and unpredictable variation in the future state of the system. - Merriam-Webster dictionary

Recently, vanilla bean prices have soared in the U.S, after a cyclone hit the tropical island off the south-east coast of Africa. “Seventy-nine percent of the world’s vanilla fields are in Madagascar. A shortage there has helped drive up the cost of vanilla beans from about $11 per pound in 2011 to $193 by the end of 2016”, according to CBS News.

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by Mia Ying  |    |  Comments 

Will Rising Interest Rates Drive Down Commercial Real Estate Prices in Connecticut?

In their March meeting, the Federal Reserve Bank voted to raise the target federal funds rate to 1.5-1.75%, with rates expected to climb to 2.9% by 2019 and 3.4% by 2020.1

All else being equal, an increase in interest rates could lead to a decrease in commercial property values. As interest rates climb, the return on alternate types of investments may increase, making real estate comparably less attractive and driving prices down. Additionally, since most real estate assets are financed, a rise in interest rates would increase the investor’s borrowing costs, driving investors to seek either an increase in operating income2 from the property or a decrease in the market value of the asset.

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by Rachel Gretencord  |    |  Comments 

Locally-Made Ramps Up

I’m relatively new to Connecticut, as I’ve discussed in previous blog posts, and I’m having fun exploring my new state.

One of the trends I’m noticing is a greater attention to Connecticut-made goods. Attention to domestic production is not a new thing (remember the “Made in the USA” symbol that became popular in the 1990s?), but it has taken on a more local aspect with initiatives such as Connecticut Made. This new effort identifies goods that our fellow state residents have contributed to producing. While this program just started (and is based on similar programs in other states and major cities), there are a lot of Connecticut-made goods already available for those interested in exploring the state.

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by Sarah Ficenec, Ph.D.  |    |  Comments 

A Tale of Two Sentiments

The latest results from the InformCT Consumer Confidence Survey are out and what we’re seeing is a tale of two sentiments. Our respondents from the fourth quarter of 2017 are telling us that they are not feeling confident about overall business conditions. Only 20 percent of our respondents said that they think the state’s economy is improving.

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by Alissa DeJonge  |    |  Comments