Economist: Triangle should bounce back faster from recession

Posted January 1, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— Though the recession is expected to last through most of 2009, North Carolina State University economist Mike Walden said he expects the Triangle to bounce back faster than the rest of the state and the rest of the country because of the growth the area saw before the crunch.

Walden said he expects the state’s unemployment numbers to continue rising through 2009 and possibly into 2010.

Recession may force change in spending habits Recession may force change in spending habits

Mike Walden Triangle's economy brighter than most

In 2008, the plummeting stock market left investors down nearly $7 trillion. The recession will likely force most people to change their spending habits, Walden said.

“When your wealth was going up, it actually made sense to borrow. It actually made economic sense to borrow money and spend that money because you had that wealth behind that borrowing,” Walden said.

Cameron Village shopper Gail Gainey, of Clinton, said her New Year’s resolution is to “shop more” in an effort to “help the economy by putting more money back into it.”

“But we are being careful about what we spend. We’re not spending as much as we had in the past,” Gainey said.

Experts say that in a recession when times are tough individually every purchase helps collectively.

“From the point of view for the entire economy we want people to spend,” Walden said.

Gainey shopped alongside her friend Joanna Dunlap, a retired teacher from Clinton, who said the economy has affected her husband’s plans to retire in two years.

“My husband is gonna have to work longer because of his portfolio and the way the economy has been,” Dunlap said. Her husband is an accountant.


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  • areyououtofyourmind Jan 2, 2009

    "Experts say in a recession when times are tough individually every purchase helps collectively."

    Wow! Now that is profound. I actually wrote it down for remembrance. Oh. Wait. It this opposed to a booming economy where "individually every purchase helps collectively?" Is there ever a time when every individual purchase does not add to the collective whole?

  • jsj501 Jan 2, 2009

    WRAL has two stories this morning on how Raleigh's economy will turn around soon. I just don't see it. I do think Raleigh has sustained better than other areas, but will eventually be dragged down to the level of the rest of the state and national economy.

  • Trivr Jan 1, 2009

    I share his optimism but hope it's not too quick as there's great opportunities presented in times like this.

  • TheAdmiral Jan 1, 2009

    Yes, I noticed that Dr. Walden is an optimistic economist. Someone has to be when everything is pointing to the negative.

  • squid90 Jan 1, 2009

    Unfortunately, Dr.Walden has been more wrong than right about the recession and the Triangle area. I hope I am wrong but he is sounding more optimistic than realistic. Of course, there is always hope that recovery will happen quicker than expected. But shouldn't we make plans anyway in case it doesn't?