Georgia Economic Outlook for 2010

By Zaneta Lowe  - bio | email | Twitter

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - "There are signs that we're in a recovery, but it's going take a long time to get out of this hole," says Standard and Poor's Chief Economist David Wyss.

That's one way economic experts describe the forecast for Georgia's economy.  Not quite as gloomy as the past, but still a little cloudy.

Take the job market for example.

"If you're one of the 90% of us that still has a job, you feel a lot safer, if you're one of the 10% that doesn't have a job, it may still be a while before you find one," adds Wyss.

Recovery was the topic of discussion Tuesday at an annual event where experts, including University of Georgia Terry College of Business Dean Dr. Robert Sumichrast, make predictions for Georgia's economic outlook.

Sumichrast says housing too, should see an uptick.

"We've seen some real depreciation in prices, so housing's a lot more affordable now, we've also got the incentive, one time tax credit for homebuyers that's helping."

That's what's helping housing, but it's the same sector that's hurting Georgia's economy.  The reason Sumichrast and others agree recovery in the state will lag behind the rest of the country.

"A lot of that is because of the close ties that Georgia has with real estate and the construction industry, both residential and commercial."

The good news is, there will be be some tremendous growth, thanks to the military, especially in the Valley area.

"Columbus is going to increase, just on the base itself, military and civilian employment by about 11,000, most of those jobs are going to come in 2010 and 2011.  So clearly, the BRAC process and military in general is going to be very positive for Georgia's economy," adds Sumichrast.

Experts say Georgia remains a good place for large companies to relocate and for entrepeneurs to start or expand a business.

As far as long term recovery, experts say that's years away, especially in the job markeentrepreneursthough it could be sooner in financial markets.

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