Local News

Experts: Economy will begin recovery in late 2009

Posted January 5, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

North Carolina flag, NC flag, state flag, N.C. flag

— Economists for the North Carolina Bankers Association and the North Carolina Chamber said they expect the state and national economies to begin recovering from their dismal showings of 2008.

"I'm pretty sure no one here is nostalgic about 2008," Progress Energy Chairman and Chief Executive Bill Johnson told attendees at the 2009 Economic Forecast Forum, held at the Raleigh Convention Center. "We'd rather have something like a do-over, a magic button."

Martin Regalia, chief economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said he expects the economy to bottom out in the next few months before starting to grow again in the second half of the year.

Martin Regalia, U.S. Chamber chief economist Web only: Economists pull out crystal ball

"It's going to take some time to build up some momentum," Regalia said, predicting job losses would continue to mount into 2010.

Governor-elect Beverly Perdue said state officials were prepared to vote Tuesday on expediting $700 million in building projects across North Carolina, which could create 23,000 jobs. The projects have already been approved by state lawmakers and will be paid for with bonds.

Perdue also said she would fight to get North Carolina's fair share of a proposed $800 billion federal stimulus package designed to pay for other infrastructure projects.

"We intend to put every federal dollar that we can lay our hands on (to work) and spend it efficiently in rebuilding infrastructure and the economy of this state," she said.

A number of strategies, such as targeted tax breaks, expanded work force training and improved government efficiency, are needed to help lift North Carolina out of recession, she said.

Perdue at 2009 economic forecast Economic recovery expected to be slow process

"Business large and small, urban and rural, are struggling to survive. The manufacturing industry continues to shrink," she said. "We will root out redundancy and will make state government more efficient in meeting the public's needs."

Harry Davis, the bankers association's economist and a banking professor at Appalachian State University, agreed with Perdue that the federal stimulus package alone won't be enough to help the state's economy.

"We have the eighth-highest unemployment rate in the nation," Davis said, adding that he expects the unemployment rate to top 9 percent later this year.

Most recessions last about 10 months, but this one will likely linger for at least 20 months before the economy begins to recover late this year, he said.

"This is going to be a U-shaped recession, where we go sideways and increase very slowly, as opposed to a V shape," he said. "We're not going to come out of this in a hurry. We're going to come out of it with slow, steady growth."

Johnson urged businesses to use 2009 as an opportunity to lay the foundation of a stronger future by confronting reality, devising thoughtful solutions and rebuilding the confidence and trust of consumers.

Click on WRAL.com at 8 a.m. Wednesday for live coverage of the 2009 Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Economic Forecast to learn what experts foresee in the regional economy.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Tired Of Excuses Jan 5, 2009


  • whatusay Jan 5, 2009

    These are the bozo's that won't lend any of the billions of bailout money they received making predictions.

    "It is better to be silent and thought stupid than speak up and remove all doubt."

  • Madonna Jan 5, 2009

    NC Bankers Association ... I do not consider them experts at all. Well, perhaps in selecting the best country club and vacation spa resort for 2009.

  • districtcadvocate Jan 5, 2009

    If we increase our illegal immigrant population to provide workers to build the infrastucture that is being touted as the way to spark our economy then we are bigger fools than I thought we were.

    Therefore I hope we put strings on how these funds are spent. No money should be spent on any labor that is not determined to be lawful US Citizens. If we have to pay more then so be it. We know that money will be spent back in our economy and not sent to some foreign land.

    We need to be much smarter than we were the last time.

  • whoohw Jan 5, 2009

    These "experts" are trying to soothe growing and legitimate fears about an economy that was built on a faulty foundation (dollars backed by debt instead of gold).

    As others have pointed out: If it is only going to last until the end of 2009, why do we need a 1 TRILLION dollar stimulus package?? These "experts" either think the people are dumb as rocks OR the experts themselves are dumb as rocks (either way, not good).

    The economy will more than likely crash hard in the next 8-12 months because IT WAS BUILT ON A FAULTY FOUNDATION. This all started in 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank. Under the Federal Reserve system, the Federal Reserve (a quasi-private bank) has the power to issue currency (dollars) instead of the Treasury (the body responsible for issuing currency under the Constitution.......the more dollars they pump into the system the less each dollar is worth. In 1913 a dollar was worth a dollar, NOW IT'S WORTH THE EQUIVALENT OF 4 CENTS.

    the dream is over...

  • GWALLY Jan 5, 2009

    How many of these so called "experts" missed the current downturn...??? How many MADE money over the last 6mo's...??? Now....all of a sudden....they are "experts"...?? Sound more like weather forcasters...(some days you are right some days you are wrong).....however you are NEVER an EXPERT!!!!

  • Trivr Jan 5, 2009

    "Most recessions last about 10 months" - If this is the case, then why do we need to spend nearly 1 trillion on a stimulus package?

  • jsanders Jan 5, 2009

    "two panel discussions on the state's most pressing transportation challenges, with some solutions"

    Any takers on whether the solutions will include higher taxes? Which aren't necessary. As David Hartgen, Professor of Transportation Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, has shown, the state doesn't need new sources of transportation dollars, it needs to allocate existing transportation money toward transportation sources according to their demand, especially towards congestion relief: http://www.johnlocke.org/press_releases/display_story.html?id=242

  • PaulRevere Jan 5, 2009

    I'm no expert, but I can guarantee ya the economy will go up then back down again then up again then back down again. Seriously, "experts", get real jobs!

  • ghimmy51 Jan 5, 2009

    Now that the bottom has dropped out they're all experts. How much are we spending on this?