2017 Economic Retrospective

The stock market is at an all-time high. Unemployment rates have hit rock bottom, and Southern California housing prices have surpassed their all-time high in 2009.

The U.S. economy is doing well, as noted by the Federal Reserve’s recent decision to hike its benchmark rate by a quarter of a percent to a range between 1.25 percent and 1.5 percent. The Fed also predicted economic growth over the next three years will continue, with gross domestic product predicted to rise 2.5 percent next year.

Taking a snapshot of the past year, high-end retailers are starting to feel more confident and hunting for new locations on Los Angeles’ top shopping streets such as Melrose Avenue and Robertson Boulevard.

On a national level, big retailers are facing their challenges by closing unprofitable stores and opening new concepts that will appeal to the online shopper and the off-line consumer.

The state’s apparel-manufacturing employment has dipped since last year as more brands and labels search for cheaper production to increase their profit margins.

With that said, clothing imports from overseas factories was up slightly by 1 percent for the one-year period ending in October, but textile imports jumped 10 percent. China is still the biggest provider of everything related to clothing. But Vietnam hangs in there as the second-largest provider of clothing to the U.S. market.