During the Winter 2011 Conference, we will be live blogging from a couple of workshops, sharing some of the comments by presenters, as well as answers to attendee questions. Today, we will feature our final session, an Economic Forecast from Dr. Karl Smith with the UNC School of Government. The session will start no earlier than 10:15am, and should be underway by 10:30am.
Dr. Smith’s report highlights national and statewide economic activity on the basis of several indicators, including unemployment, inflation and productivity. His analysis leads to the following conclusion (excerpted below):
North Carolina was hard hit by the most recent recession in large part because of significant job losses in the financial sector. It is unlikely that the state’s financial industry will recover anytime soon. North Carolina faces significant headwinds moving forward. Nonetheless, the baseline forecast is for steady if tepid growth. Unemployment will remain high for some time, and restructuring will be difficult, particularly in the Charlotte region.
On the other hand, policy makers should be aware that significant risks still remain. The opportunity for stimulus funding is fading. Either the state budget will have to shrink in size or it will have to consume a larger fraction of economic resources. Either choice will involve significant sacrifice on the part of the state’s residents. This will cause obvious difficulty in balancing the state budget, but it also means that the very likely possibility of state employee layoffs will cause economic activity to be further slowed.
The National Association of Realtors prepares a monthly forecast of various national economic indicators, including GDP, employment, inflation, interest rates, home sales volume, and housing prices. Forecasts are extended on a quarterly and annual basis for two years.
To access this report (one-page, PDF), click on this link and then click on link under “Market Forecast”.