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Economic Development Consulting

A complete view of economic development opportunities and risks that shape regional economic growth

Understanding the complex interdependencies among regional industries, along with their customers and supply chains, has never been more critical for building a sustainable, resilient regional economy. With a proven analytical framework for measuring global economic dynamics, our consulting team helps clients recognize opportunities to optimize strengths and assets at the local level in the pursuit of creating and sustaining competitive advantage globally. Nations, states, cities, and counties use our proprietary tools and rigorous data-driven analysis to guide their economic development strategy, policy, industry incentives, infrastructure and human capital investments.

A synthesized approach

Our Economic Development consultants apply the data, tools and expertise necessary to measure and analyze fundamental drivers of thriving regional economies including: the right-skilled workforce, diverse industry mix, entrepreneurial ecosystem, and balanced tax policy.

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Learn more about our economic development consulting services
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Supporting key areas

Regional Growth
  • What are a region’s comparative economic advantages/disadvantages?
  • How do current and future demographics of the region influence economic growth potential?
  • How do changes in the business cycle affect a state’s economy? What industries are the most affected?
  • How do commodity prices influence regional economic performance?
  • What role do relationships between business and education opportunities play in innovation and business growth?
Technology & Workers
  • How do high-tech manufacturing opportunities compare across regions?
  • How does tax structure impact innovation and high-tech growth industries?
  • Are there enough skilled workers available in a region in the right industries to support high-productivity industry development?
  • How does migration policy impact the future talent pool?
  • How does technological disruption impact workers’ wages and employment outlook across regions?
Fiscal Policy & Public Infrastructure
  • Will development incentives generate sufficient tax revenue to cover their cost?
  • How will major fiscal and monetary policy decisions at the US level affect a region’s economy?
  • What reuse opportunities are feasible for former industry sites?
  • Does the region’s transportation infrastructure have adequate capacity to support multi-modal trade flows and regional/global supplier networks?
Global Trade & Supply Chain Risks
  • How do increased tariffs impact movement of commodities and supply chains?
  • What role will international policy play in future trade?
  • What are the global supply chains that the region can either tap into or contribute to that will help increase the competitiveness of the region?

How IHS Markit can support your business

  • Work with client to identify the problem and its local perception
  • Collaborate with industry subject matter experts and regional economists to assess the economic composition and growth potential of a region
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses to regional economic and demographic growth through comparative analysis with IHS Markit’s macroeconomic and industry forecasts
  • Collaborate with industry experts to evaluate the inhibitors and enablers of sector growth including the supply chains that support regional industry clusters
  • Synthesized analysis that summarizes findings, forecasts, economic impacts, tax impacts and SWOT utilized by economic development authorities, taxation departments, legislative leaders, MPOs, chambers of commerce and a broad range of economic development stakeholders
  • Work with client to hone message delivery that speaks to stakeholders
  • Public testimony, as required


Jim Diffley

Formerly chief economist of IHS Markit US Regional Services Group, he was responsible for the Regional Core Macroeconomic Service and the Global Insight Real Estate and Construction Service. Since 1998, Mr. Diffley has supervised the quarterly economic forecast of the 50 states and over 300 metropolitan areas of the United States. He regularly makes presentations of these regional economic forecasts and analysis to clients, conferences, governmental bodies and the press.Mr. Diffley is now responsible for customized consulting projects, specializing in public finance. These have included long-term projections of cigarette consumption, forecasts of capital gains realizations, analysis of the economic impact of the securities industry on New York State, analysis of the impact of changing oil prices on local economies and the economic impact of various facility locations. Mr. Diffley's academic work in the US includes a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics & Economics from State University of New York at Buffalo, a Master of Arts in Economics and a doctorate (ABD) at the State University of New York. From 1982 to 1987, he was on the economics faculty at Adelphi University, US.

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