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Watkins: state recession not over until end of 2010

By   /   Wednesday, December 16th, 2009  /   Comments Off on Watkins: state recession not over until end of 2010

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The U.S. economy will experiences slow growth throughout most of 2010 but California won’t emerge from recession until the very end of the year.

That’s the view of California Lutheran University economist Bill Watkins, who presented his first state and national forecast for 2010 at a breakfast event on campus on Dec. 16. The Business Times was provided an embargoed copy of the forecast.

Watkins said that California’s recovery won’t be in full swing until 2011, but he said he sees some relief in sight for battered shopkeepers who will see “retail sales turn positive in 2010’s fourth quarter.”

Productivity gains will help corporate profits and wages should increase, but unemployment in California will remain at double-digit rates for an extended period, Watkins said.

Housing and commercial real estate will remain weak spots, Watkins said. CLU’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting expects U.S. GDP growth to average an annualized 1.5 percent next year, far less than the 3.1 percent consensus of the National Association of Business Economists.

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