January 28, 2023
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City National exec sees slow, steady recovery


Staying the course for now will pay off in the long run, according to City National Bank’s chief investment officer.

Bruce Simon, who oversees investment activities for the $24 billion nationwide bank, and economist Chris Thornberg gave mid-year updates at a June 6 forum hosted by City National in Camarillo at the Spanish Hills Country Club.

The United States continues to be “the best in a bad neighborhood,” and despite slower growth, the economy continues to recover, Simon said. He said the May swoon in stocks was unprecedented in terms of a “slow drip” downward.

Uncertainty about Europe means avoiding the continent for now, Simon said. If the patter of the past two years holds, then stocks could rally again. For U.S. stocks, this year looks surprisingly the same,” Simon said.

Thornberg said that from Ventura to San Luis Obispo counties, recovery continues to hold steady. Job growth has returned with tourism making a nice rebound, he said. Local governments, which are major employers in the counties, are regaining their fiscal balance, and parts of agribusiness are very strong, Thornberg said. A notable weakness is in field crop vegetable prices.

The biggest long-term risk to the Tri-Counties is “very slow population growth,” Thornberg said. He is slated to give a mid-year update in Paso Robles on June 7.