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Indiana Economic Forecast Predicts Growth Similar to 2011

An economist says Indiana's unemployment rate could reach as low at 8.3 percent or as high as 9.5 percent in 2012.

Gas Station

Photo: Adam Lederer (Flickr)

An optimistic forecast puts gas prices at $3 per gallon. Another shows it close to $4 per gallon.

An Indiana economist says 2012 should look a lot like 2011 when it comes to economic growth.

Ball State economist Michael Hicks calculated two forecasts for the next year – an optimistic one incorporating a gas price of $3 per gallon, the other with gas prices at $4 dollars. Hicks says neither forecast includes substantial growth over 2011.

“Overall growth in the Indiana economy is going to be just barely above the rate that a natural growth of households and population would sustain and barely above inflation,” he says. “So we’re talking about another year of tepid economic activity.”

Hicks says unemployment could drop to as low as 8.3 percent by the end of 2012 but could also be as high as 9.5 percent.  He says his pessimistic outlook includes a greater number of people no longer looking for work.

“So it’s not just the lack of job growth but also disappointment in labor markets that turns people out of the labor market entirely,” Hicks says.

Indiana’s current unemployment rate is 9 percent.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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