The pains of recovery can be felt across the country and are likely to continue well into 2013.
Economists say that the U.S. unemployment rate is expected to linger at or near 8 percent, with only tepid growth in the coming year.
“A lot of folks are looking for a lukewarm outlook, and they are probably right,” explains James Kurre, Ph.D., director of the Economic Research Institute of Erie (ERIE) and associate professor of economics at Penn State Erie, the Behrend College. “This recovery has been very weak, very anemic.”
Four and half years after the recession‘s peak, the United States is still not back to where it was in 2008. “That is unprecedented in the post-war period,” says Kurre. “At the national level, this recession is dragging on forever.”
Adds Val Vlad, Ph.D., also an assistant professor of economics at Penn State Erie, “This is a long and painful recession, and the recovery cannot be a very rapid one; it is a very slow and painful one.”
It is also one that has been overshadowed by uncertainty, spurred by the international markets — and slowing economies in China and Europe.
“We see what happens to the United States with recession, and it is going on all over the world,” says Vlad. “It is now harder to recover because you have to have a lot of synchronization among all those countries.”
The good news? “In the short term, what happens in Europe, or a small country like Greece, may affect the United States, but I think we have more stability than we see,” he says. “We gained some ability to deal with painful shocks because we went through almost four years of recession.”
Read more about the 2013 Economic Forecast in the December 2012 edition of the Business Magazine.