Economist Jack Kyser bearish on economy

DOWNEY - As 2009 draws to a close, Downey resident and Los Angeles economic guru Jack Kyser sees the California economy in the midst of a "very, very slow recovery period" lasting into 2011.On a year-to-year basis, unemployment continues to go up, he said, while it shows signs of going down in some sectors. Meanwhile, manufacturing is still groaning "under a lot of pressure." The paucity of activity in construction, especially in the commercial sector, may put a brake on economic activity for two more years. In this regard, a handful of major construction projects are on track to benefit LAX and John Wayne airports. Investment activity has of course not yet gotten its legs back as a result of the global financial crisis. Signs of a modest recovery in international trade (a major California mainstay), coupled with a modest uptick on tourism, another economic driver ("One boost is the just-completed 1,000-room Marriott-Carlton hotel that will cater to the Staples/Convention Center area"), are encouraging but the consumer is still cautious in his spending. "It's not so easy to get a credit card nowadays," Kyser said, even as he gave a thumbs-up on the coming of Fresh & Easy market. In short, he said, we've had a "not so wonderful year," but at least the economy has not been exactly derailed. In an exclusive phone interview, Kyser further said that next year's governor's race will be very interesting as some initiatives are put on the ballot. "Some of these will be controversial and the protagonists will resort to a lot of advertising. This is good news, of course, to the advertising industry which has also taken hits." As far as Tesla Motors is concerned, he said, "We're keeping our fingers crossed. If it comes to Downey, it will be very positive for the city."

********** Published: December 25, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 35