There is one more good reason to pop the champagne and ring in the New Year--saying goodbye to the Economic Decade From Hell.
This will be a decade to erase from memory. 9-11 and two recessions later, we're finally saying goodbye and hopefully good riddance.
Here are some low lights from the past decade:
-Unemployment in the St. Louis area went from 3% in 1999 to 9.8% today.
-Missouri building permits decreased 82% from peak to trough during the decade.
-St. Louis population growth continued to lag. Between 1990-2008, St. Louis resident population grew 9%, while Kansas City grew 22% and Chicago grew 17% (U.S. population grew 22%).
-Housing prices in St. Louis area have fallen 14% since 2007.
-St. Louis downtown office vacancy rate is now 21.5%, compared to Chicago's 15.5% and Kansas City's 16.7%.
Needless to say, I'll be hoisting my glass and hoping for a better decade ahead.
--Ron Ameln, SBM