In summary

The uncertainty of a U.S. trade dispute with China, which could trigger a recession, to a lack of affordable housing are among some of the chief concerns of economists as Gavin Newsom takes the helm in California.

When Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom is sworn in on Jan. 7, he will inherit record economic prosperity. California has a projected $15 billion budget surplus and a 4.1 percent unemployment rate. But we also are in the second-longest economic expansion in state history, so no one is expecting the party to last.

CALmatters asked economists up and down the state for their advice for the incoming governor. Their responses suggest Newsom will have his work cut out for him. California’s high poverty rate is being exacerbated by the housing crisis and a yawning wealth gap. Social and economic inequality are growing. California’s outsized footprint in goods movement makes it especially vulnerable to international trade wars. And climate-driven disasters have forced the whole state to confront the high costs of reconstruction and prevention.

Here’s what the economists have to say.

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Judy oversees economy and workforce coverage for CalMatters. She serves as hub editor of the second year of the California Divide project, a five-newsroom collaboration reporting on inequality. Prior to...