Make us your home page
Instagram

Director of research at Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta says it'll be a "limp-along" recovery

TAMPA — Today marks the start of the third quarter, the quarter we finally end the longest post-World War II recession, if David Altig and his fellow prognosticators with the Federal Reserve Bank are right.

Might not seem like much of a recovery, though, by Altig's assessment. Unemployment, which has already passed double digits in Florida, is growing across nearly every sector except government and health care. Manufacturing is "still deteriorating." Business investment demand is "still very soft." And consumers who started to spend again in March and April are once more holding their pocketbooks tight.

"It'll be a limp-along type of recovery if we've got it right," Altig, senior vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, told about 140 attendees of a luncheon Tuesday cosponsored by local chapters of the Association for Corporate Growth and the Turnaround Management Association.

Altig dubbed his speech "Is It Over Yet?" His answer, he said jokingly, depends on the meaning of "it."

• If "It" refers to the recession, Altig said he agrees with others at the Fed that economic output will creep back into the positive side this third quarter. But downturns associated with banking crises tend to be very slow recoveries. The consensus forecast in the Fed is for 1.5 percent growth this quarter. Forecasting into 2010 gets muddy indeed, he said, with the widest range of forecasts that he can recall.

"Is there another shoe to drop? Is commercial real estate going to jump up and bite us? … Can banks repair lending sheets and will the regulators let them?" he said. "These are all complete unknowns for the most part."

• If "it" refers to the credit crunch, "It still looks pretty crunchy to me," Altig said. Some credit markets, such as the corporate bond market, appear to have bounced back, but bank lending is still "very, very weak."

The good thing, he said, is that the unprecedented financial Armageddon that threatened the country in the fall is in the past. Probably.

"It feels like we've reached the point that we're in a standard old recession now," Altig said. "We are definitely, maybe, over the hump."

Jeff Harrington can be reached at jharrington@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8242.

Florida consumer confidence drops

University of Florida economist Chris McCarty cited the spike in Florida's jobless rate, state fees and General Motors' bankruptcy as possible reasons Florida's consumer confidence fell 3 points to 68 in June. Among key components of UF's Survey Research Center at the Bureau of Economic and Business Research:

• Perceptions of personal finances now compared with a year ago is up three points to 44.

• Perceptions of personal finances a year from now fell 6 points to 84.

• Perceptions of U.S. economic conditions over the next year fell 7 points to 65.

Director of research at Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta says it'll be a "limp-along" recovery 06/30/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 9:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  2. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks

    Business

    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]

  3. Author Randy Wayne White could open St. Pete's biggest restaurant on the pier

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The story begins with Yucatan shrimp.

    St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, pilot Mark Futch, Boca Grande, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and author and businessman Randy Wayne White,  Sanibel, exit a Maule Super Rocket seaplane after taking a fight around Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg waterfront, 6/28/17.  White and his business partners are in negotiations with the City of St. Petersburg to build a fourth Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier with a second event space on the pier according to White. The group met near Spa Beach after a ground breaking ceremony for the new pier. "We want to have our business open by the time the pier opens," said White. Other Dr. Ford restaurants are located on Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  4. Guilty plea for WellCare Health Plans former counsel Thaddeus Bereday

    Business

    Former WellCare Health Plans general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District …

    WellCare Health Plans former general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District of Florida stated Wednesday. [LinkedIn handout]
  5. DOT shows alternatives to former Tampa Bay Express toll lanes

    Transportation

    TAMPA — State transportation officials are evaluating at least a half-dozen alternatives to the controversial Tampa Bay interstate plan that they will workshop with the community over the next 18 months.

    Florida Department of Transportation consultant Brad Flom explains potential alternatives to adding toll lanes to Interstate 275 during a meeting Wednesday at the DOT’s Tampa office. Flom presented seven diagrams, all of which swapped toll lanes for transit, such as light rail or express bus, in the I-275 corridor from downtown Tampa to Bearss Avenue.