The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce said recently its annual Economic Forecast, which featured a panel discussion moderated by financial expert and syndicated financial columnist Terry Savage, drew 225 attendees.
"We are living in a time of no inflation, but there is a risk of global deflation,” Savage said. “China’s growth has slowed and that is being felt around the world. The value of commodities from coffee to natural gas and oil is falling, and that has created a huge problem for debtor countries that are primarily commodities exporters.”
Other panelists included John Calamos Sr., chairman, CEO and global co-chief investment officer at Calamos Investments; Blu Putnam, managing director and chief economist for the CME Group; and Caroline Harris, chief tax counsel and executive director of tax policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“The U.S. labor force is not growing, although I do expect some limited growth in the next five to six years," Putnam said.
Harris said because 2016 is an election year, she did not see tax reform happening any time soon.
“What happens in terms of taxes in 2017 and beyond depends on who is in the White House," Harris said. "Presidential leadership is key with something like tax reform and that has been missing lately.”
Calamos said that inflation wasn't always a negative thing.
“Inflation helps home prices to rise, which in turn creates wealth for the middle class," Calamos said.
Harris encouraged the attendees to keep looking forward, as tax reforms could happen.
"Be sure to talk to your legislators about what you want,” she said.