December 4, 2012

New England fiscal forecast: Expect more slow growth

Economists cite overall weakness in global and U.S. economic conditions as the reason for the tepid forecast.

By Jessica Hall jhall@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

New England’s economy will continue to see slow growth and sluggish recovery of the jobs lost in the recent recession, according to the New England Economic Partnership.

The economists cited the overall weakness in global and U.S. economic conditions as the reason for the tepid forecast, rather than concerns about the implications of the fiscal cliff in the U.S. and the weak overall European economy.

The housing market could emerge as a relative bright spot in the economy with rising home prices bolstering the construction industry and related industries such as home suppliers, landscapers and cable providers. The economists also suggest that regional median housing prices are expected to increase modestly.

In Maine, sales of single-family homes surged 24.55 percent in October over the same month last year, driven by pent-up demand, low interest rates and modest prices. The median sales price rose 3.33 percent to $170,500, according to Maine Listings, a unit of the Maine Association of Realtors.

In a conference on Thursday, some of the region’s top economists will provide detailed outlooks for New England and each of the region’s six states. The Fall Economic Outlook Conference will be hosted by the New England Economic Partnership.

“For months, the business community has anxiously awaited the results of the election so that they would have a better sense of what to expect in terms of federal economic and budget policy in the year ahead,” said James Brett, president and chief executive of The New England Council, which is sponsoring the conference. “We now know that there will be a ‘status quo’ in terms of our leadership in Congress and the White House.”

Staff Writer Jessica Hall can be contacted at 791-6316 or at:
jhall@pressherald.com

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