Explaining Southern California's economy

UCLA Anderson Forecast: Don't expect strong growth this year

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Photo by Chris Radcliff via Flickr Creative Commons

The UCLA Anderson Forecast released a cautiously optimistic outlook for the U.S. and regional economies.

The UCLA Anderson Forecast just released its second quarterly report for 2012, and the outlook for the U.S. economy is a continued slow recovery from the Great Recession.

At the heart of the report is Anderson Forecast Director and economist Ed Leamer’s assertion that we’ve looking to wrong people to rescue us. Wall Street isn’t really improving, and Washington isn’t going to create the growth that the country needs. What we need to fix is Main Street.

Leamer said that the dot-com bubble and the housing bubble disguised a broken educational system that isn’t preparing workers for good, 21st-century jobs. In California, we’ve seen this from two sides. In Silicon Valley, the high-tech sector is recovering nicely. But inland California continues to suffer under the weight of unemployed construction workers.

The UCLA economists don’t anticipate a real recovery that builds momentum until 2013. That’s when growth will pick up and unemployment will begin to seriously decline.

And we have more work to do. Leamer said that to deal with a different economic future, Americans must go from being spenders to savers. “We have to transform our shopping mall into factories,” he said. The bottom line? Don’t expect any dramatic improvement anytime soon.

The Anderson Forecast economist broke down their outlook for California and Los Angeles, as well. I'll provide greater detail on the entire forecast in a follow-up post. I'll also check back on some previous reports that the Anderson Forecast has produced to see if I can discern any trends.

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