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Banking

EconSouth Magazine Offers Outlook for 2010

The recently published fourth quarter issue of the Atlanta Fed's regional economics magazine, EconSouth, offers an outlook that is more upbeat than at this time in 2008. As Atlanta Fed economist Mike Bryan notes in his comments on the national economic picture, the country endured a difficult 2009 as policymakers—particularly the Federal Reserve—used every tool in their arsenal to combat the extended financial crisis.

A recovery, but how robust?
As the commentary in EconSouth notes, the recovery should continue into 2010, but its duration and breadth are still to be realized. The pivotal issues affecting recovery—such as the rebound of the housing market and restoring the financial markets, according to Atlanta Fed and other economists—rest on the key components of traditional economic growth, including

  • growth of consumption or how consumers contribute to the recovery,
  • business spending on capital and inventories,
  • structural changes in the economy such as the shift from manufacturing/production toward a service-based economy and rising global trade,
  • the impact of inflation, and
  • the stress on labor markets.

Sustained recovery hinges on variables
On a national level, although the future of the recovery has yet to be mapped out, Bryan concludes that some risks are not predictable. The headwinds working against a strong recovery—the fragility in financial markets, higher rates of personal saving, slow growth in small business, and ongoing structural adjustment coupled with shocks to the system—coming from looming losses in commercial real estate, rising commodity prices, or from sources not yet on the economic radar could set back a budding recovery. Contributors to the fourth quarter issue of EconSouth generally conclude that, in looking ahead to 2010, the economy has finally begun to show signs of rebuilding and repair after the financial crisis.

For more information on the outlook for the recovery from national, Southeastern, and global perspectives, take a closer look at EconSouth. The magazine is available online at the Atlanta Fed Web site, at frbatlanta.org, or by print subscription.

 

December 30, 2009