Friday, May 15, 2009

Oregon's March 2009 Economic Forecast Released Today

While we intend to use the typical Friday post as an opportunity to examine a broader perspective of the economy, usually at the national level, we are going to stray from the norm today. The reason? Oregon's Office of Economic Analysis, headed by State Economist Tom Potiowsky, released Oregon's newest Economic and Revenue Forecast today at a joint hearing at the Capitol, in Salem.

The bad news is that the forecast was more pessimistic than the forecast given in March - not too surprising considering that the March forecast was working with data from January. Actually, there seemed to be widespread consensus that this forecast would be worse than March's - the big question being, "How much worse?"

The good news is that the forecast seemed brighter than many people were expecting. In fact, the new forecast indicates that while this recession is projected to be the worst recession since at least 1980 at the national level, the downturn in Oregon won't overshadow the downturn of the early 1980s. Oregon's employment loss (as a percentage) is expected to be less during this recession than in the early 1980's, and the recession is expected to end in a shorter period of time than the three year decline which occurred in Oregon between 1980 and 1982.

Don't expect the turnaround to happen right away though. Potiowsky's new estimates don't indicate a quarter-to-quarter increase in employment in Oregon until the second quarter of 2010 - a full year from now. During that time the unemployment rate will likely continue to rise - and while employment gains may return next year, Oregon isn't expected to return to pre-recession employment levels until the second quarter of 2013.

Click here to read the forecast press packet, or see the full text of the forecast here.

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