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Rotary Happenings: Economist discusses current financial state of affairs

By Staff | Jun 30, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Dr. Scott Brown, senior vice president and chief economist at Raymond James, was the guest speaker for the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club's recent meeting.

The past few months has been a very tumultuous time for most everyone, especially when the stock market and economy is taken into account. Recently, the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club met via Zoom with guest speaker Dr. Scott Brown, senior vice president and chief economist at Raymond James. He gave the club an economic commentary on the current financial state of affairs.

Brown earned his doctorate in economics from the University of California at San Diego, where he studied time series analysis and forecasting under Nobel Laureates Robert F. Engle and Clive W.J. Granger. He also holds a Master of Science in statistics from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from the University of California at Irvine.

Brown spoke of the unemployment rate since the beginning of the pandemic, as well as the number of unemployment claims made each week. The numbers were staggering and long reaching, affecting much more than one single individual. There will be a type of chain reaction creating a broader reach into other areas of the economy. However, he predicted that interest rates will remain low for quite some time, which in turn will help the housing markets to recover. There has already been an increase in the amount of building permits applied for and issued.

Brown also noted that with families spending less, such as not being able to go out to dinner, travel or attend sporting events, and the stimulus checks and unemployment checks that were issued, some families are actually saving money. This will help with the economy’s recovery.

In a time of so much uncertainty, and in an area with so many hourly workers, the Rotary Club continues to lend a helping hand. Donations are still being accepted at the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, as well as F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva.

In light of COVID-19, the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club is meeting on Fridays at 7 a.m. via Zoom. To take part or for more information, visit sanibelrotary.org or “http://www.facebook.com/sancaprotary”>www.facebook.com/sancaprotary.