North Bay Business Journal

Monday, December 31, 2012, 6:35 am

North Bay business trends for 2013

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    Health Care: Hundreds of millions in hospital construction to accelerate

    2013 trendsIn the next 12 to 18 months, the North Bay will see significant hospital and health care construction, with at least half a dozen major projects entering key phases or reaching completion.

    Tourism: Officials see continuing growth in year ahead

    Tourism across the North Bay continued to rebound at a steady and promising pace in 2012, and the industry is poised to post further gains in the coming year with a series of high-profile events and increased marketing efforts, officials said.

    Insurance: After lull, experts see health premiums rising again

    While premiums on group market benefits have slowed somewhat over the past year, employers will likely see rate increases to the tune of 9 percent to 10 percent throughout 2013, according to brokers.

    Wine: Grape supply to drive wine M&A in 2013

    Brisk mergers-and-acquisitions activity for North Coast wineries, vineyards and brands in 2012 is expected to continue into 2013, even if the estimated huge size of the recent harvest moderates supply pricing underlying a number of the deals, according to the deal brokers.

    Retail, hospitality construction rebound

    The hot sectors for North Bay construction in the coming year will continue to be education, affordable-housing and health care, but retail and hospitality work is making a comeback.

    Banking & Finance: Finding profit in era of slim margins

    While the Federal Reserve’s continued effort to keep interest rates as low as possible has helped many borrowers to refinance existing debt or purchase property in 2012, that same economic policy has also narrowed margins for financial institutions and investors and created a period of historic challenge for firms of all sizes in the North Bay and beyond.

    Transportation: Year of planes, trains and highways

    Few would disagree that the population and commerce of the North Bay has grown faster than the region’s transportation infrastructure. But with new construction and funding for several large-scale projects in 2012, the region’s roads, runways and rails may now be catching up.

    Technology: Global financial uncertainty makes companies cautious

    If a Magic 8 ball was consulted about North Bay high tech in 2013, the answer might be, “Outlook cloudy, try again.” North Bay tech leaders say uncertainty has dimmed the near future of the industry in the U.S and elsewhere as the fiscal cliff and other financial crises loom.

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