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Economists say LI still faces bumpy recovery

Pearl Kamer, the chief economist for the Long

Pearl Kamer, the chief economist for the Long Island Association. (Nov. 10, 2011) Credit: Newsday, 2011 / Audrey C. Tiernan

Economists feel that while Long Island is technically out of the recession, “muddling through” is most likely the way the rest of the year will feel.

Speakers at a Long Island Association panel discussion Friday morning blamed numerous reasons for the less than satisfactory economic growth, ranging from falling home prices to the lack of a young workforce to a contraction of the construction industry.

Mostly, they offered explanations but no solutions. All agreed that while numbers show that a recovery is in progress, it is certainly a slow one.

LIA economist Pearl Kamer predicted an even greater squeeze at the end of 2012 when tax increases due to a slump in sales tax collections could possibly throw the economy into another mini-recession.

“I think Long Island is healing but it's going to be a very slow process extending through most of this decade. We're going to have to rebuild our economy based on new industries and on services we can afford to provide,” she said.

Robert Lipp of the Suffolk County Budget Review Office added his measured take on the economy as well.

“We'll muddle along, we'll be OK, but if you're talking about youthful exuberance that's not going to happen,” he said.

Other speakers included New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Hofstra University retail expert Barry Berman,  economist Thomas Conoscenti and Paul Kutasovic of the New York Institute of Technology.


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