IU Economists Predict Slow Growth For 2013

The housing and energy markets are two bright spots in what is otherwise a bleak forecast from Indiana University’s Business Outlook Panel.

Business Outlook Panel

Photo: Brandon Smith/IPBS

Director of the Indiana Business Research Center Jerry Conover speaks at a panel that released Thursday its economic for 2013.

Indiana University economists say they expect continued slow economic growth next year while cautioning against looming fiscal storm clouds. Each of the members of IU’s Business Outlook Panel say the next year will look a lot like the last two including disappointing economic growth as the country slowly recovers from the recession.

But IU economist Bill Witte says the housing and energy markets create a little more optimism than in recent years.

“Housing and energy provide a base under the economy that I think makes a renewed recession relatively unlikely,” he says.

Witte does caution that instability in Europe, slowed growth in China and the impending U-S fiscal cliff – a combination of higher taxes and government spending cuts – pose significant threats to his predictions.

Indiana Business Research Center director Jerry Conover says Indiana has recovered better than many states, with job growth in recent months at its highest level since the late 1990s.  And he says strong job growth should continue.

“We’re predicting somewhere upwards of 50,000 more jobs to be added in the year ahead,” he says. “At this rate, though, it’s still going to be a couple more years before we finally get back to pre-recession levels of jobs in our state.”

Conover says the state’s unemployment rate, currently at 8.2 percent, should come down to about 7 percent by the end of 2013.

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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