Thursday, February 23, 2012
SAN DIEGO Point Loma Nazarene University's chief economist said the region should add about 27,000 jobs this year.
Lynn Reaser presented her annual economic forecast at a breakfast meeting at the San Diego Marriott. The forecast called for positive job growth, but not enough to reach prerecession employment levels.
"We should be able to push the unemployment rate down further to around 8 percent by the end of the year, from 9 percent today. But companies, I think, are still going to be cautious," said Reaser.
The forecast for the year predicted a stabilization of housing prices. Reaser said housing and jobs are linked and they will either improve or decline together. Rising fuel prices could also jolt the economic recovery.
"The two major drivers of recession usually are a tightening, raising of interest rates by the federal reserve or an increase in energy prices that acts as a shock to our system," she said.
The federal reserve is promising to keep interest rates low, and the economist doesn't expect fuel prices to remain high. However, that depends on what the price of oil does on the international market and Reaser said that is harder to predict.