Finance Strategist Brings Economic Update

March 11, 2020 - 9:20am

Over 130 Oklahoma Business Roundtable members and guests attended the March 4 Executive Briefing held in Oklahoma City.

Keynote speaker was G. Scott Clemons, Chief Investment Strategist for Private Banking with Brown Brothers Harriman in New York City. The firm provides economic, financial market and investing advice to companies worldwide, including several in Oklahoma. Roundtable member John Patrick Lopez of Lopez Foods working with The Capital Chart Room helped host the speaker and reception.  

Clemons said the U.S. economy continues to grow, admittedly at a modest pace – but the impact of the coronavirus has yet to be determined.   

 “Personal consumption is not only 68% of gross domestic product (GDP), but consumption has also been the driving engine of the economy throughout the course of this record-long expansion,” he said.

“In these early few weeks of 2020 investors have confronted rising tensions in the Middle East, a rare impeachment trial of a U. S. president and the spread of the novel coronavirus, he said.

“Disruption to supply chains and consumption resulting from COVID-19 may very well lead to a contraction in the first quarter of 2020 as well,” he added.

"This is bad news but is mitigated somewhat by recognizing that contraction has happened before in this economic cycle. Again, we have no unique insight into how this plays out, but if the disruption proves to be temporary, the economy can recover without lasting impairment,” he said.

Governor Kevin Stitt also provide brief remarks to the group. He applauded the recent announcement by American Airlines to invest $550 million in its worldwide maintenance facility in Tulsa. He highlighted efforts to increase the efficiency of state government, outlined his plan for Medicaid expansion and focus on increased investment and jobs.