CSU economists predict Colorado economy to begin turning around in 2009

Posted by Greg Smith on Saturday, January 24th, 2009 at 11:01am.

The Denver Business Journal reported on January 21st that CSU local economist Martin Shields predicts Colorado to begin recovery in the 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2009.

Colorado went through a bad economic year in 2008 and can expect more of the same this year, but there are signs that a recovery could start as soon as the summer, a pair of Colorado's top university business economists agreed Wednesday.

While calling 2008 "a horrific year," Martin Shields, regional economist at Colorado State University, said that "things really weren't so bad in Colorado" as they were across the nation.


Speaking at the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce's annual Economic Forecast Breakfast at the Hyatt Regency DTC, Shields noted that Colorado was one of a handful of states that actually created slightly more jobs than it lost last year, although the pace of job growth slowed.

He also said that Colorado's housing market, although overbuilt, had "no real estate bubble to pop," as compared with other states like California and Florida, its economy has been hurt less by deflation in housing prices.

While he predicted 2009 "will be a rough year" in the Centennial State, with the loss of an estimated 3,400 jobs, "we expect to begin a recovery by mid-summer."


Richard Wobbekind, associate dean in the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder, who also addressed the breakfast, said he agreed with much of Shields' assessment, although he added there is great uncertainty about when a recovery may begin. "We're talking about an economy that's stuck in the mud," Wobbekind said. "The best-case scenario is that we start to pull out of this by mid-summer," with the third or fourth quarter of the year a more likely starting point, he said.

It will be interesting to see how everything plays out, but with Colorado's legs of the chair holding up fairly strong Interest rates, supply, location, and job stability (demand) we may see the bottom of "mid summer." So if you are on the fence about buying or waiting on the sidelines, most indicators are showing that first and second quarter may offer the best opportunities for great values.

Greg Smith

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