Economist: RI’s outlook weak, and that may be too optimisticNovember 4th, 2011 at 2:30 pm by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The expert hired by the state to forecast Rhode Island’s economic future offered a grim outlook on Friday – and then warned them it may be too optimistic.
“The risks of going into a second recession are uncomfortably high” despite “some mild cause for optimism,” Zachary Sears of Moody’s Economy.com told a group of frowning state budget officials as he presented his twice-a-year economic forecast at a Statehouse hearing.
What’s holding back Rhode Island’s job market at this point are ongoing layoffs in the public sector, particularly by cash-strapped local governments, Sears said. Manufacturing has not bounced back as robustly in the state as it has in the Midwest, he said.
Rhode Island’s snail-paced recovery from the Great Recession is frustrating state officials from Gov. Lincoln Chafee on down. Treasurer Gina Raimondo recently described the state’s jobs crisis as “a monumental challenge.”