Jeremy Hill, Director of the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University, testified before the Kansas Senate Commerce Committee on Tuesday about the 2019 economic outlook. He noted that nationally, some economists are looking ahead to a potential recession, maybe even as soon as 2020. He believes that if trade policy can be stabilized, things could continue positively.

“Those concerns could be mitigated and we could grow a little bit longer than we have before,” Hill said. “We could have a couple more years of growth, but watch those concerns. Those concerns could put us in recession. If we do have a recession, it would probably not be too deep or long as the last one. It should be pretty quick.”

Hill has traditionally been more of a doomsayer about Kansas. Not so this year.

“Kansas’ economy, I’m going to pretty optimistic about it now,” said Hill. “I think we’ve made lots of really significant corrections in different markets and different segments. I’m pretty optimistic about that, which is pretty surprising, because I have been pretty negative the last few years about the Kansas economy.”

One large bright spot, regardless of how the national economy does, is aerospace, according to Hill.

“I’m actually much more positive about the position of aerospace in Kansas than I have been in a long time,” said Hill. “I’ve had pretty negative comments for year after year after year. Now, because of how they’ve fixed supply chain issues, how they’ve implemented technology, I think there’s going to be room for growth in aerospace, mostly in commercial, but even in general aviation. When we go into this next recession, we’re going to see this sector continue to grow, because aggregate demand and replacement of the airplanes are going to be out there. They’re going to be needed, when the U.S. goes in recession.”

Hill expects the sector to continue to grow and be a big driver for the Kansas economy.