Economist David Hale, a Vermont native and St. Johnsbury
Academy graduate, delivered the news to legislators and others from around the region this morning at the Council of State Governments Eastern Regional Conference.
The recession's not over. Job losses will continue. But he said, "We are on the verge of economic
You and I might not feel it right away. Economists will be the first to sense it, he said.
Hale warned, though, that predictions are precarious. Recovery depends on consumers' willingness to shell out money. If they don't, a "double dip" or "W"-shaped downturn is a possibility. "Right now there's no precise way to predict," Hale said. "Odds probably do favor a consumer upturn."
In other words, just went Americans learned not to spend more than they have, the economy depends on them not keeping too much.
The stimulus package and moves to lower interest rates are helping to keep us out of Depression territory, he said. State governments have used some of that money to create 12,000 jobs this year, he said, and the money will have more impact next year.
Some states, he noted, have looked at drastic measures to raise money. Arizona raised the notion of selling the Statehouse. Gov. Jim Douglas, on a panel with Hale after his speech, pretty much said he didn't see that happening here.
Hale, who will stop and visit his mother in St. J. while he's here, made another prediction that he says is also imprecise. He may someday come back to Vermont and get involved in politics.
- Terri Hallenbeck
Labels: David Hale, economy, politics, Vermont