Economist says U.S. is long way from a depression - 8 Мая 2009 - Еебизнес.ру - новости бизнеса

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Главная » 2009 » Май » 8 » Economist says U.S. is long way from a depression
Economist says U.S. is long way from a depression
Chris Thornberg, one of the first economists to predict the recession, reminded a Sacramento audience of an important fact Friday: There's a big difference between a recession and a depression.

Thornberg, speaking to the Sacramento Sierra chapter of the Appraisal Institute, dismissed the dire pronouncements of another depression or financial Armageddon. He said the federal government is pumping enough money into the system to prevent a meltdown.

"Whoa, time out – deep, deep breath," said the principal of Los Angeles' Beacon Economics. "Folks, it's not that bad."

Thornberg acknowledged the irony of trying to offer an upbeat tone, given his record for gloomy forecasts. But he said Americans have to be careful not to overreact to the bad news.

"We're in the midst of what I would call a nasty recession," he said. "Like a bad cold, you'll get over it."

He said the recession will probably shake out like the early 1980s downturn, which drove national unemployment to 10.8 percent (the current rate is 7.2 percent).

He also urged the appraisers to avoid getting overly worked up over the stock market, which he called "the 13-year-old daughter of the U.S. economy – the ultimate drama queen."

Economist Suzanne O'Keefe of California State University, Sacramento, told the appraisers that job losses in the region should end in August or September, giving way to a period of "stabilization."

Garrick Brown, director of research at broker Colliers International in Sacramento, said vacancy rates will continue rising in all sectors of commercial real estate: retail, office and industrial.

Leasing activity by state government will help the office market, although vacancies will grow once the new tower on Capitol Mall opens this year. The Roseville office market "remains a real challenge," he said. "Developers went hog wild."

Greg Paquin of the Gregory Group, the Folsom housing market consultant, said new-home sales in greater Sacramento will total 4,695 this year, the same as 2008. But he acknowledged that prediction is probably optimistic.

Paquin is convinced the government will do something to stem foreclosures, if only because it wouldn't make sense to let the housing market continue sinking while Washington pumps hundreds of billions of dollars into a stimulus package.

By Dale Kasler
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