NCSU economist: Triangle should bounce back faster from recession

Posted January 2, 2009 7:11 a.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:11 p.m. EDT

— Though the recession 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 has seen.

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

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 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.