The head economist for commercial banking at JPMorganChase bank is touring the West Coast this week, reporting to customers and managers on his view of the year ahead.

“Our economy today is not as bad as the political voices will have us believe,” Jim Glassman, Ph.D., told a Tacoma breakfast gathering today. 

Using a baseball metaphor, the recovery from that Great Recession (from 2008) “looks like it’s in the 8th inning – and it could go into extra innings,” meaning this Ph.D. forecaster can see another couple of years, before the next cyclical recession arrives.

Glassman does believe Federal Reserve Bank governors will make one interest rate hike, possible as soon as later this month. But even that doesn’t worry him, because he believes the nation is getting close to “full employment” and that will boost inflation.

As for the greater Tacoma marketplace, the East Coast-based analyst notes that nonfarm employment in Pierce County has grown 25 percent since 2000, while the U.S. employment rate is up only 10 percent. All of Washington state has seen jobs growth doubling the national pace since entering the 21st century. Real GDP growth in this state also is far in front of the national pace.