UCLA forecasters predict slow economic recovery

Economists with the UCLA Anderson Forecast offer their quarterly take today on where the domestic economy’s been and where it’s headed. The recession may be ending, they say, but the recovery could be very slow. KPCC’s Brian Watt reports.

Brian Watt: The forecast says the origins of the recession lie in consumer and business debt. Instead of saving money for their nest eggs, Americans took advantage of easy credit and bought too much: homes, cars, and stuff. Anderson Forecast director Ed Leamer:

Ed Leamer: Going forward, the job is to turn our shopping malls into factories.

Watt: He doesn’t mean that every food court needs to convert to heavy manufacturing. That’s his metaphor for spending less and making more products that Americans and people abroad want and are willing to buy.

Leamer: That’s a process that takes some considerable period of time. It probably won’t be over for a whole decade.

Watt: Leamer says economies abroad have to get stronger for that process to work. He’s optimistic that the global economy is recovering, but he predicts that recovery may not be strong or fast enough to propel America’s economic growth.

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