Jeremy Hill, director of the Center for Economic Development and Business Research, said after showing almost no growth in 2011, the Kansas economy should improve in 2012.
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Kansas economic forecast revised for 2012
Jan 17, 2012 9:00 AM | Print

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After showing almost no growth in 2011, the Kansas economy should improve in 2012. But some recent events have combined to reduce some of the expected growth, according to Jeremy Hill, director of the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University.

Hill: "Unfortunately our forecasted growth for Kansas has been revised down slightly from 1.1 percent to 1 percent for 2012. This is due to the weakness within the Euro zone, remaining uncertainty of the U.S. economy and expectations of the Boeing departure."

As far as the U.S. economy goes, Hill says there are signs that it's improving as well.

Hill: "The U.S. economy is seeing signs of improving economic conditions. The private sector jobs have led the recent employment growth, and in December the U.S. jobs claims were widespread."

"U.S. consumers are more upbeat about their future. In the last couple of months, they've felt that their future earnings and the economy would be better in the coming months. However, in this recent report of the U.S. consumers, they now believe that the economy today is much better."

Hill says that nationally, gross domestic product is expected to grow 3 percent in fourth quarter 2011 and 2.6 percent in 2012. Year-over-year average annual employment grew 1 percent in November 2011, and modest gains are expected in 2012. The Kansas economy, on the other hand, was generally flat in 2011, as Hill explains.

Hill: "The Kansas economy has been flat in 2011, showing almost no growth from 2010 to 2011. However, farmers and farm income have been the stabilizing force for our economy."

"Although manufacturing struggled the first part of 2011, recent growth in employment is expected to carry through into 2012, leading the state economy out of our recession."

Hill says the strongest employment growth in Kansas should come from the durable sector.

Hill: "We expect the strongest increase in employment growth to come from the durable sector, which includes farm equipment and aviation manufacturing, at about 2.8 percent in 2012."

As for the state economic and employment picture as a whole, Hill says: "Overall, the Kansas economy has some definite strengths and will likely create about 13,000 jobs in 2012."

Thanks for listening. Until next time, this is Joe Kleinsasser for Wichita State University.

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