Category archive

Economy

Stanislaus County is spending $50 million on sidewalks, sewer, water. Where is it going?

in Community/Economy/Government

Stanislaus County will distribute $50 million in American Rescue Plan funds unevenly across supervisorial districts to make improvements in county unincorporated pockets that need it most.

County supervisors voted 5-0 to approve the methodology Tuesday evening, giving the largest portion of funding — $16.9 million — to make improvements in Supervisor Channce Condit’s District 5 including Ceres, part of south Modesto and western Stanislaus County.

Continue reading on Modesto Bee

California’s commercial property shortage is making investors desperate

in business/Economy

Strong commercial property reports are still trickling in for the first part of 2022 — but can commercial’s rebound last in the face of rising interest rates and an unstable economy?

U.S. mortgage origination volume for commercial properties — including multi-family — increased a significant 72% over a year earlier as of the first quarter (Q1) of 2022. By property type, mortgage volume increased:

  • 359% for hotels;
  • 145% for industrial;
  • 88% for retail;
  • 81% for healthcare;
  • 57% for multi-family; and
  • 30% for office, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

Accordingly, outstanding commercial mortgage debt increased 1.8% from the prior quarter in Q1 2022. Multi-family mortgage debt rose 2.1%, according to the MBA.

For reference, commercial mortgage originations were recently at their lowest in 2020 at the outset of the pandemic and 2020 recession, but quickly rebounded alongside rising demand. Commercial lending rose to a decades’ peak in Q4 2021. In a typical seasonal adjustment, originations fell back in Q1 2022, while remaining significantly higher than a year earlier.

The rise in commercial mortgage originations is a direct result of available commercial property falling below tenant demand, plunging vacancy rates to historic lows and encouraging investors to purchase.

Continue Reading on firsttuesday Journal

Wine exports grow, much of them from Modesto area. Which countries bought the most?

in Economy/Food & Drinks

Wine exports from the United States jumped 10.6% in value in 2021, reversing a four-year decline, an industry group said Monday.

The total reached $1.44 billion despite tariffs, COVID-19 and other challenges, the Wine Institute reported.

The San Francisco-based group represents California wineries, which account for about 95% of U.S. exports. Much of the volume comes from the Modesto area.

The value hit a record high of $1.61 billion in 2016, then dropped each year to $1.29 billion by 2020.

Export volume has dropped over the past decade amid a general rise in value, reaching 89.4 million gallons in 2021. This reflects a shift toward higher-priced bottles from Napa and other premium regions.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

Stanislaus Co. eyes plans ten years ahead on housing, jobs

in Community/Economy/Housing/Job

As California slowly exits the COVID-19 pandemic, Stanislaus County is targeting collaboration with its nine incorporated cities to address long-term economic development, job creation and the housing crisis. 

Jody Hayes, the Chief Executive Officer for Stanislaus County, continued his campaign to each of the county’s city councils Tuesday night as he addressed the Turlock City Council about developing strategies for job creation and housing. 

“Basic concept that every member of our community can work a normal occupation in Stanislaus County and afford to live in a safe neighborhood,” Hayes said. “That’s what it really all comes down to. That’s the fabric of any great community, and that’s what we’re trying to make sure that we lend our support to and working collaboratively with everyone we can here in our community.” 

Continue Reading on The San Joaquin Valley Sun

Less affordable to live and work in Modesto than New York City? What a new study says

in Community/Economy

Modesto is among the country’s least affordable cities in which to live, a new study shows.

According to a 2022 study from GoodHire, a background screening software company in Redwood City, Modesto ranks sixth among the least affordable cities in the country, one spot ahead of the New York City metropolitan area.

Leading the ranking for least affordable cities is Los Angeles, followed by Hartford, Connecticut; Corpus Christi, Texas; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Bakersfield.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee

California keeps adding low-wage jobs. Can it find a way to save its middle class?

in Economy

California is becoming less equal every day.

The state’s 100 richest residents had $815.5 billion in net worth as of September 2020, up 18% from 2019, according to Forbes.

Yet Rey Justo and his family of six in Sacramento were living between a Honda Pilot and his in-law’s living room.

The top 1% of Californians earned at least $659,000 in 2020.

But Omar Yacoubi was putting in a 12-hour workday driving for Uber in the Bay Area last year after he found himself without a stable gig as a software designer.

“Income inequality has risen sharply in California over the past two decades, increasing faster in the state than in the nation as a whole.” A researcher at the Public Policy Institute of California, Deborah Reed, said that more than two decades ago, in 1999.

In the intervening years, California spent billions to fight poverty. A tech boom led Californians to gain billions in wealth.

Continue Reading on The Modesto Bee.

Record revenues expected in California Budget proposal

in Economy

Governor Gavin Newsom last week submitted his 2021-22 State Budget proposal to the Legislature – a record $227.2 billion fiscal blueprint that is a staunch reversal from summer fears of a drop in California revenue.

The proposal provides funding for immediate COVID-19 response and relief efforts where Californians need it most while making investments for an equitable, inclusive and broad-based economic recovery. The Budget has benefited from stock market gains and income growth among the state’s wealthiest residents, which paints a picture of disconnect between California’s affluent and those who are struggling due to COVID-19.

“In these darkest moments of the COVID-19 pandemic, this Budget will help Californians with urgent action to address our immediate challenges and build towards our recovery,” Newsom said in a statement. “As always, our Budget is built on our core California values of inclusion, economic growth and a brighter future for all. The Budget makes progress towards the goal I set when taking office to harness California’s spirit of innovation and resilience and put the California Dream within reach of more Californians. I look forward to working with the Legislature to enact these critical immediate and longer-term priorities for our state for the 40 million who call the Golden State home.”

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Grant funds from cannabis tax available to fight impaired driving

in Economy

The California Highway Patrol has nearly $27 million in grant funds available to help local communities combat impaired driving.

The funding is the result of Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which provided specified cannabis tax funding to the CHP to administer local grants for education, prevention, and enforcement programs regarding impaired driving.  Funding for the grants comes from a tax on the cultivation and sale of cannabis and cannabis products sold in California since January 2018.

For the current grant cycle, the CHP’s Cannabis Tax Fund Grant Program will be awarding grants based on a competitive process to California law enforcement agencies and local toxicology laboratories meeting the eligibility requirements described in the 2021 Request for Application, available on the CHP website.  

The CHP will hold a virtual workshop on Jan. 6, 2021, to answer questions from potential grant applicants regarding the application process, the 2021 Request for Application, administrative program regulations, and other general questions.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

California gas prices second highest in country

in Economy

While a third of the country’s states saw gas prices decrease over the past weeks, California is one of only 10 that posted increases at the pump.

Hawaii ($3.21) and California ($3.14) remain the most expensive markets in the country, according to AAA gasoline analysts. Washington ($2.79), Oregon ($2.66), Nevada ($2.64), Alaska ($2.52) and Arizona ($2.35) follow.

“During the last month, demand has averaged about 8.6 million b/d while, gasoline stocks have steadily declined,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “Week by week, we are seeing mostly regional fluctuation at the pump based on gasoline supply and demand.”

At 8.6 million b/d, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) measures demand at a 1% decrease week-over-week, 9% increase month-over-month and a 6% decrease year-over-year. Meanwhile, gasoline stocks measure at a 1% weekly decline, a 3% decrease month-over-month, but a 7% increase compared to last year.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

Turlock farmers market celebrates opening day

in Economy

As businesses throughout Turlock begin to reopen with precautions during the coronavirus pandemic, one of the community’s favorite places to gather and shop returned to Main Street on Saturday with the new season of the Turlock Certified Farmers Market.

The downtown market filled with locally grown produce and handcrafted goods typically opens during the first weekend of May, but stay-at-home orders throughout the state forced the TCFM Board to postpone the outdoor shopping event until June. It was TCFM Board President Brandon Follett’s hope that despite nearby markets starting back up at that time, a later opening date would put TCFM in step with other downtown businesses as they were slowly allowed to reopen.

Continue Reading on Turlock Journal

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