City Grill

Natalie Gochnour​​​​​​​Natalie Gochnour
Chief Economist & Senior Advisor
Salt Lake Chamber

Gochnour told AGC of Utah members at the group’s annual convention in January that Utah’s economy is one of the most diversified in the country, and thus follows larger national trends more closely than in the past. “Follow the nation. We sometimes like to think of Utah as this interior state that’s a little different than the rest of the country, but there’s now incredible correlation between the Utah economy and the nation,” she said. “We will soon hit the longest economic expansion in the history of our state and the nation.”

She cautioned against “animal spirits in the economy,” driven by over-confidence in a strong marketplace. “The real crisis we have today is a budget deficit that is growing larger each year and a national debt that is larger every year,” she said. “The tax cuts passed last year were financed by debt, and it is debt that will have to be paid back at higher rates in the future. This is a real risk to our economy.”

She said that construction growth in the state has recently slowed to 1.3% compared with 1.6% previously, but it is still expected to remain robust.