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July 16, 2010

North Carolina's economic outlook

The summer version of the North Carolina economic outlook it out. Is it upbeat?

Dr. Mike Walden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension economist in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, responds:

"I'd say modestly so. ... First of all, we always look back at where we have been, and it looks like most of the economic indicators are suggesting that the state economy hit a bottom last fall and since then we have trended upward.

"If you look at indicators like jobs, retail sales, income, even state tax revenues -- those have all trended upwards since last fall. However -- however -- they are still below pre-recessionary levels.

"So we have improved, but we certainly are not back to where we were before the state went into a recession.

"North Carolina has added jobs at a faster pace than the nation, which is typical although we are slower on private-sector jobs.

"Looking ahead I see continued improvement, but slow improvement. Probably the indicator that most people look at is the unemployment rate, and I am predicting that at the end of this year, 2010, North Carolina's unemployment rate will get down below 10 percent. It will hit about 9.5 percent, and in 2011 8.5 percent. So going in a good direction but still uncomfortably high."

Posted by deeshore at July 16, 2010 09:30 AM