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State Economic Leaders Predict Long, Slow Recovery

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 13 Jan 2011 08:25am | comments
Economist Darrin Webb gives his predictions to lawmakers.

Mississippi's economic recovery will be long and slow, that's according to two of Mississippi's Economic leaders. M-P-B's Jeffrey Hess reports.

Growth in employment, rising incomes and decreasing unemployment all indicate to state economist Darrin Webb that Mississippi is on the road to recovery.

"While we are recovering, we are recovering at a slow pace. And probably slow growth is the new norm for the next several years. And that's sort of the bad part of it," Webb said.

Webb says Mississippi’s average growth is around 1.5%, which is below the national average.

Mississippi State Treasurer Tate Reeves believes that Mississippi's has actually done quite well managing how much debt it builds up which is around 3.7-billion dollars.

"Although our total debt has grown in the last couple years the debt as a percentage of personal income as actually improved relative to other states. And if fact, we are in the best point today that we have been in since 1996," Reeves said.

Reeves points out that much of that debt has gone toward projects that could improve Mississippi's economy like Toyota, Nissan and other factories.

Servicing that debt is expected to chew up about 8-percent of this year's budget.

Senate appropriations Chair Doug Davis of Hernando is encouraged by the outlook. However, he acknowledges that the growth does not solve the state's 600-million dollar budget shortfall.

"From a general fund aspect no. Those challenges as was indicated by the state economist will continue to go on through 2015," Davis said.

The year 2015 is the year economists predict that Mississippi will finally return to its pre-recession economic strength.


Economist Darrin Webb gives his predictions to lawmakers.



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