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Economist: SoCal economic forecast is bright

July 21, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Check out Hollywood Boulevard and the tourists and you will see one reason for a glimmer of hope for the Southern California economy. The Sottiles from Doylestown, Pa. are here spending money.

"We planned a vacation and nothing in the economy seemed to slow that down," Tom Sottile said. " So, we're very optimistic for the future."

A few miles away, economist Jack Kyser was getting a standing ovation for his last forecast done for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. And after the worst recession in recent history, the forecast was reason for more applause.

In an interview with ABC 7, Kyser said he doesn't see a reverse recession for Southern California. No double-dip recession despite some economists' predictions. A slow recovery is on the way and tourism is part of it.

"By the end of 2010, we will be adding jobs," Kyser said. "In 2011, i think a lot of people will feel a lot better about, and then 2012, definitely people will be feeling more optimistic."

Television and film production are two areas where the forecast sees growth in the coming months and year.

International trade is expected to be the strongest area of recovery for Southern California.

California still has the third highest unemployment rate in the nation, but that will gradually change, and international trade will be one of those areas leading the state back to jobs.

"Businesses learn that they can operate more efficiently with fewer workers," Kyser said. "If they need to, they can work their employees longer hours, more overtime, maybe add some temporary help."

One tremendously difficult hurdle for the economy is psychological. Business and consumers are so used to not spending, that opening their wallets is going to be difficult. But as the economy starts to change, later this year and next, that may change.


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