Indiana economists say while the national and state pictures will not get much worse in the coming year, they will not get any better either. They offered their predictions Thursday at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business’ annual Business Outlook Panel in Indianapolis.
IU economics professor Bill Witte says government dysfunction on the national level, as well as similar instability in Europe, has handcuffed the economy this year and will continue to do so in 2012. He predicts overall economic growth will be less than 3 percent.
“And that means that we won’t really be making any progress economically against the hole we’re in,” he says. “We’ll just barely be holding our own.”
Witte says unemployment should decrease, but still stay well above eight percent. Indiana Business Research Center director Jerry Conover says, at the state level, the Hoosier economy is relatively similar. While he says Indiana should experience better growth than the nation as a whole, it will still fall short of where the state wants to be.
“But at this rate, we’re probably at least two, maybe three years out before we get back to where we were before the recession,” he says.
Conover says Indiana’s unemployment rate could drop to about eight percent in 2012. It is currently a little less than nine percent.