Looking at a Big “L”
How fast can economists downshift expectations? Well, in just a few weeks, we’ve gone from this:
[Edinaldo Tebaldi, assistant professor of economics at Bryant University] and Edward Mazze, distinguished university professor of business administration at the University of Rhode Island, will give a somewhat gloomier forecast for the state at a conference next month in Boston organized by the New England Economic Partnership. They predict the jobless rate to rise to at least 13.5 percent and hover there next year. By 2011, it will fall, but only to around 12 percent, their preliminary calculations show.
The state will shed an estimated 9,000 more jobs in the coming year, and unemployment rates will keep creeping up, hitting a high of 14.1 percent in the second quarter of 2010. Housing prices, meanwhile, will struggle in the short term before beginning a slow climb, starting in 2011, a report from the New England Economic Partnership, a nonpartisan forecasting group, predicts.
Of course, by way of assessing credibility, here’s what the same crack squad was saying a year ago:
The latest jobs report is grim even in light of the economic forecast released yesterday by the nonprofit New England Economic Partnership. The NEEP economists predicted that during the next two years, Rhode Island would lose nearly 15,000 more jobs and unemployment would hit 10 percent, probably by the end of next year.
Mazze says we’re looking at a U-shaped recovery. Face reality, Rhode Island: Until you radically change the way this state operates (and who operates it), we’re looking at an indefinite L.