Economy is getting better and better
Over 200 local leaders came together Friday morning at the Paso Robles Event Center to hear the Central Coast Economic Forecast, an annual event sponsored by the Paso Robles and Atascadero chambers of commerce. Keynote speaker Chris Thornberg of Beacon Economics told the audience that the economy is getting better. The 2014 national economy is going to be better than 2013 and 2015 better than this year, he said.
It’s because the fundamentals of the economy are solid, Thornberg said. Interest rates are relatively low and they are going to stay low, he said. That’s because the supply of capital is greater than the demand. Though credit remains relatively difficult to get, he said.
Positive economic fundamentals
- Employment is growing
- Personal incomes are starting to grow faster
- Wealth levels have grown to new highs
- Consumer credit is starting to expand
- Foreclosures are down
- Company earnings are great
- US exports are competitive in global economy
- California continues to lead the nation in growth
Local economic highlights
- Tourism and wine industry are growing
- Population is slowly growing
- Hotel occupancy and rates are strong
- Effects of drought on local economy is exaggerated
The event’s first speaker, Don Vilfer, president of Califorensics gave a presentation on computer security. He said there are $500 billion in losses annually from malicious computer attacks. Threats to computer data can come from outside and inside the company.
He said some of the biggest threats include theft of trade secrets such as client data, embarrassment to the company, embezzlement and blackmail. He said 90 percent of passwords can be broken in 5 minutes. Here are highlights of Vilfer’s advice:
Take simple steps to protect your company
- Add firewalls to networks
- Educate employees on social engineering
- Implement stronger passwords
- Use disk encryption
- Make regular backups
- Keep most sensitive data offline
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