Economist Mike Walden: Future Economic Drivers for North Carolina

When most economists and futurists look at tomorrow’s economy, they see sectors like technology, health care, and personal services as being increasingly important.  Do you agree with these projections?

  1. I certainly do, but specifically for North Carolina, I want to add two others
  2. Retirements – in two ways
  3. First, the proportion of people who are over 65 will almost double at mid-century – so virtually every business will have to cater to the golden agers
  4. Second – retirees are mobile – and NC will attract many of them for living in their later years – this can drive economic development
  5. Second driver – agribusiness
  6. Includes farming, plus the processing and delivery of farm based products
  7. Over $80 billion annual industry today in NC
  8. Due to growing export opportunities, could grow to $150 billion in 2050