State's economy put on display - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

State's economy put on display

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It wasn't the best of news for the Magnolia State Wednesday morning as the state's economic outlook was on full display.

"Mississippi's economy tends to follow national trends. Nationally, we're in a bit of trouble and the same thing is happening in the state, things are slowing down," said Institutions of Higher Learning Senior Economist Marianne Hill.

Hill says that slow down is from the state and country hitting yet another rough patch in economic growth. Although the state is seeing a slight increase, Hill says it's marginal at best.

"Unfortunately what's happening in Mississippi is happening nationally and until we see it turn around nationally, we're going to slow growth in this state," said Hill.

Mississippi's unemployment rate is about the same as it was this time last year. Hill doesn't expect employment to get back to the level seen in 2000 until the year 2016. One major indicator of the state's slow growth is the housing market. With a weak demand for home buying, recovery isn't expected until late 2012 to early 2013.

Although Mississippi's foreclosure rate is below the national level, the state ranks 25th overall in foreclosures.

"When the housing sector starts improving, that's when we really expect to see things turn around," said Hill.

Thanks to unemployment rates and wealth loses, Hill says many Mississippians just aren't spending, and as a result consumer confidence is declining. One a positive side, major projects across the state are ongoing like the Toyota Plant, Calisolar, Stion and the Port at Gulfport.

Mississippi is also seeing an increase in personal income for those who do have jobs.

"Revenues are going up, we have seen improvements in Mississippi's exports and there's several areas where there are some improvements and we expect to see things turning around round the end of the year," said Hill.

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