Projections from the Indiana Business Research Center suggest Hoosiers shouldn’t expect a recovery from the recession for at least 12 to 18 months.
Each year, the IBRC calculates what it calls the Leading Index for Indiana. It’s a measure of the state’s economy which places the most weight on the sectors upon which Indiana is the most dependent, like manufacturing and transportation. Though it’s not as broad-based as some national outlooks, Director of Economic Analysis Tim Slaper said his report shows the state’s future is uncertain at best.
“I can’t say when we’re going to get a nice, good shot in the arm,” Slaper said. “Economic output has been fairly anemic in terms of its growth rate. So to be able to predict that in six months, we’re going to see things roaring back… I’d love to be able to say that, but I don’t see it in the numbers and I don’t think other economists see it.”
Slaper says the report could have an impact on the upcoming budget session of the Indiana General Assembly. Bloomington State Representative Matt Pierce said it will, but likely only to confirm what most lawmakers were already bracing for.
“I think most legislators are operating under the assumption that the economic growth is going to be pretty limited,” Pierce said. “We’re hoping there’s a little bit of an uptick we’re seeing, so that might be helpful, but we really don’t expect there to be a huge uptick. We kind of hope we might be surprised and get one, but I think everyone’s thinking that the next budget is going to have to be based on a pretty stagnant economic outlook.”
One positive, Slaper said, is that auto dealers say they’re seeing pent up demand – meaning once consumer confidence increases, those who have waited to buy a new car for several years could hit showroom floors by the droves.