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January 8, 2024 Economic Scorecards

Rassekh: CT’s economic outlook provides reason for optimism

Farhad Rassekh

We should be optimistic about the economic outlook for Connecticut in 2024.

The main reason for optimism is that the state economy is highly integrated into the U.S. economy, which is strong at this time and quite likely will stay strong in 2024.

Inflation has fallen from 9% to less than 4% without a recession. The economy continues to create a surprisingly large number of jobs.

However, global events — such as the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, the apparent slowdown of the Chinese economy, and the possibility of a conflict over Taiwan — are the sources of uncertainty that can change any prediction.

While we have little control over such events, at the state level we can embark on policies that lead to a stronger economy.

Creating a business-friendly environment that attracts businesses and people from other states and countries would be a good start.

Since the state has a budget surplus, it can afford to reduce the overall tax burden on residents and businesses.

Lowering the regressive sales tax will help low- and middle-income families. Lowering income, corporate and business tax rates would boost residents’ disposable income while attracting business investment into the state.

Farhad Rassekh is a professor of economics at the University of Hartford.

Check out the rest of HBJ's 2024 economic forecast issue

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