LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Economists looking ahead to 2021 expect a good economic recovery following months of negative impacts on businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The economists spoke at Outlook 21 on Wednesday. The economic annual event is a partnership between UNLV’s Center for Business Economic Research and the Las Vegas Global Economics Alliance. The conference, which was virtual this year, offers an in-depth analysis of what businesses can expect heading into 2021.
Christopher Thornberg, a keynote speaker, said one strong area is the housing industry because it’s a sellers market. The Las Vegas valley has set a new records for several months when it comes to the median sales price of existing homes. He also said consumer spending has been better than expected considering the pandemic.
However, UNLV professor Stephen Miller did say what happens in the local economy will depend heavily on the tourism industry.
“They are following a national downturn that is the current recession we are now in because of COVID-19 that is impacting our visitor volume, hotel occupancy and employment here in Southern Nevada. But in 2021, we see robust recovery to that for all four series.”
Miller and Thornberg disagreed when it came to another stimulus check. Thornberg said more time is needed to allow the first one to pan out because many put it in the bank. However, Miller believes since Southern Nevada is basically ground zero for the pandemic impact and high unemployment, people here would benefit greatly from a second stimulus.
Both experts agreed that a vaccine will help hospitality and recreation industries recover because people will feel more comfortable in large groups.