GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (FOX 4) – This years economic outlook luncheon was both filling and fulfilling. “We have a lot of things in our forecast that are what we call tail winds, good positive things that are out there,” Dr. Richard Wobbekind, University of Colorado Leeds Business School, says.

Of course a few factors slowed growth, “We do have a lot of things in the uncertainty column to be quite honest,” Dr. Wobbekind said.

Still, Dr. Wobbekind, the Dean of Business at CU, predicts the economy should continue to recover with solid growth all while the nation battles inflation and supply chain constraints. “In our forecast we have inflation slowing down by the latter part of the year, by the third fourth quarter,” Dr. Wobbekind says, “We think the overall inflation rate is going to slow but before that happens, if it really shocks consumers, or it shocks small businesses then they could react negatively just in terms of their confidence.”

In the midst of COVID-19, one small business on the Western Slope, Maid 2 Impress, doubled down on their business investment with 20 additional employees, a decision that returned a revenue windfall. “We are operating with 89 clients, 50 employees and we’ve expanded by about $179,000 so thank you to the community for supporting us and choosing us, we really appreciate it,” Jessica Morriss, Maid 2 Impress says.

Overall, the Western Slope continues it’s upward trajectory as it recovers from COVID-19.

Rural communities like Grand Junction saw tourism, retail, construction, real estate and employment soar higher than the rest of the state, while oil and gas and mining industries fell behind.

The biggest question left on economists minds now is how long this recovery will last, but as they predict there will be. “Continued growth, perhaps a little slower in terms of employment but not necessarily in terms of retail, trade or hotel occupancy or all of those other metrics or amount of production of natural gas, or agricultural production will go up,” Dr. Wobbekind says, “All production metrics should be going up, and going up in a healthy fashion.”