N.C. economists predict more tough times ahead

Posted September 3, 2010 8:26 a.m. EDT
Updated September 3, 2010 2:27 p.m. EDT


— Continuing bleak news about the U.S. economy with report after report showing little or no growth has many people talking about a “double dip” recession rather than a recovery.

More bad news came Friday when the federal government released unemployment figures for August.

The unemployment rate rose in August for the first time in four months as weak hiring by private employers wasn’t enough to keep pace with a large increase in the number of people looking for work.

The Labor Department says companies added a net total 67,000 new jobs last month, down from July’s upwardly revised total of 107,000. Wall Street analysts expected a smaller gain, according to Thomson Reuters.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Gross Domestic Product is struggling to maintain any growth at all – the most recent quarter having been downgraded to 1.6 percent.

Local Tech Wire and reached out to three prominent economists and business experts at Duke, North Carolina State and East Carolina universities to provide a better perspective about what is happening across the economy and what is likely to happen in the future.

They shared many similar thoughts – few of which are positive.

warns that the U.S. could repeat the 1936 debacle when attempts to escape the Great Depression faltered.

says the economy has “downshifted” and sees ”puny growth.”

, meanwhile, is concerned about the strength of the recovery, but said he is even more worried about long-term problems, especially in public policy.

The consensus of the three is that there are tough times now and will be more tough times ahead.