Lowe Institute at Claremont McKenna debuts first Los Angeles Consumer Sentiment Index

The first Lowe Institute Los Angeles Consumer Sentiment Index (“Index”) unveiled today shows a 12 percent decline in the fourth quarter 2016 versus third quarter 2016 results, a period when there was a sharp rise in consumer sentiment.  This is important data as the Index provides guidance on future consumption activity by Los Angeles area residents, key to assessing the overall prospects for the local economy.  Consumption accounts for, on average, 70 percent of all U.S. economic activity and its importance cannot be overstated.

“This is a notable drop in consumer sentiment though it is just for one quarter. If the first quarter 2017 results also drop then we can view this as a downward cycle,” noted Marc Weidenmier, Director, Lowe Institute of Political Economy.  “Right now, businesses should be cautious and take a ‘wait and see’ approach before making major inventory commitments.   For governments relying on sales tax revenue, it’s not time to redraw the budgets but time to pause and consider the potential ramifications if we head into a period of decreased consumption.”

National consumer sentiment has been measured by the University of Michigan since the 1950s and its predictive abilities have led to this sentiment series being included in the government’s index of leading economic indicators.  Los Angeles County has a population of more than 10 million and is the third largest metropolitan economy in the world.  The Institute deemed this a region that could benefit from its own consumer sentiment survey.

“The Index serves as a timely source of information crucial to assessing the pulse of the local economy but also as an example of how localized knowledge can be captured and utilized to improve forecasting and decision making,” said Robert J. Lowe, founder of the Lowe Institute and Chairman of national real estate company, Lowe. . “The fourth quarter results bear out the need for Los Angeles County data as the national consumer sentiment survey showed an uptick during this same period.”

Among the factors that can drive differences from the national survey is Los Angeles’ multicultural and diverse economy that is not reliant on any one industry, its position as a gateway to the Pacific Rim, and other business and economic variables that are distinct to the region.  “Another factor in Los Angeles may be the ‘Trump effect’ as the majority of Los Angeles County is deeply Democratic with policy views that are opposite those of the new administration,” said Weidenmier.  ”The fourth quarter survey was taken in December, after the election when Los Angeles area residents were absorbing the news following the surprising election outcome.”

The decline in Los Angeles consumer sentiment was across all ethnic groups – African American, Asian, Hispanic, Caucasian and other.  The decline was also consistent across most age groups with the exception of senior citizen (65+) respondents. There was a significant uptick with senior citizens and a very small uptick in the 45-54 age category.

The survey also asks for respondent’s employment status and includes full-time and part-time employed, self-employed, homemaker/domestic engineer, students and unemployed.  There was a significant decline in consumer sentiment across all six groups.  There was a slight uptick in consumer sentiment among retirees.

February 7th, 2017|Categories: Client News|Tags: , , , , , , |

TaskUs earns spot on LABJ’s Fastest Growing Private Companies list


TaskUs, which has significantly increased its revenue and head count over the last year, has been named to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s list of “Fastest Growing Private Companies.” Ranked number 20 on the list, TaskUs is up three spots from last year.

Fastest Growing Private Companies (Los Angeles Business Journal)

November 8th, 2016|Categories: Client News|Tags: , , , , , |

Kathryn Purwin rises to CEO of Helinet Aviation Services

Helinet Aviation has a long history as a leader in aerial photography for broadcast, entertainment media and public safety. The announcement of new CEO Kathryn Purwin was accompanied by her statement regarding the bright future of the company.

“Alan was committed to helping law enforcement agencies across the country develop customized, turnkey solutions, that have been widely adopted among agencies nationally and internationally,” Purwin said. “That’s a legacy I am dedicated to building on.”

Read Vertical Magazine, Rotor & Wing, and Airbeat

Broads Circle names 16 Top Women of Influence


From left: Courtney Nichols Gould, SmartyPants Vitamins; Elizabeth Stewart, The Hub LA; Linda LoRe, InJoy Global; Deborah Benton, formerly Nasty Gal; Rita Illig Liebelt, Illig Construction Company

Broads Circle, a women’s C suite group in Los Angeles, announced the 16 winners of its 2014 Top Women of Influence from more than 150 nominations, spotlighting women who drive revenue and grow capital for their organizations.

The winners are:

  • Accounting: Cheryl Calhoun  Managing Director, Tax & Business Management, CBIZ MHM, LLC
  • Banking: Commercial Banking: Julia Gouw President and COO, East West Bancorp, Inc. and East West Bank
  • Banking – Investment Banking: Fran Seegull Chief Investment Officer and Managing Director, ImpactAssets
  • Banking – Fund Managers: Eva Yazhari CEO, Beyond Capital Fund
    Close runner-up: Jeri Harman Managing Partner, Avante Mezzanine Partners
  • Corporate Boards: Larraine Segil CEO, Little Farm Company and Board Director Frontier Communications among others
  • C-Suite – CEOs & Presidents: Deborah Benton Former President & COO, Nasty Gal
    Close runner-up: Susan Feldman Co-founder & Chief Merchandising Officer, One Kings Lane
  • C-Suite – CFOs: Susan Collyns CFO, Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp
  • Attorneys: Pamela Palmer Partner, Securities Litigation and Corporate Governance, Latham & Watkins LLP
  • General Counsels: Carol Bradford General Counsel, California Community Foundation
  • Technology: Therese Tucker CEO and Founder, BlackLine Systems
  • Life Sciences: Dr. Nazli Azimi Founder and CEO, Bioniz
  • Talent Acquisition & Diversity: Kimberly Congdon Managing Director and CHRO, Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
    Close runners-up: Debra Langford The Langford Company and Associate Director, Diversity Programs, Keenan MBA Career Resources Center, USC, Daisy Auger-Dominguez Vice President, Talent Acquisition and Organization & Workforce Diversity, Disney ABC Television Group
  • Marketing & PR: Linda Whalen Western US Brand and External Communications Leader, Ernst & Young LLP
  • Nonprofit & Philanthropy: Elizabeth Stewart Co-founder and CEO, The Hub LA
    Close runners-up: René JonesDirector, UTA Foundation, Jocelyn Tetel Vice President Advancement, Skirball Cultural Center

Read the full list of winners:

Sixteen Women of Influence in LA Named by Women’s C-Suite Group, Broads Circle

July 8th, 2014|Categories: Client News|Tags: , , , |