(BLOOMINGTON, IN) - A group of state economic experts predicts an upswing in the economy in the coming year, in part because the economy has almost nowhere else to go.
Thursday marked the start of a statewide tour by a panel including Indiana Business Research Center leaders and Indiana University Economists.
Retired IU Economics Professor Bill Witte says calling for "better" economic conditions in 2010 is relative only to how bad 2009 has been.
Witte predicts a slight uptick in the state's manufacturing economy in the first half of the coming year, which he says should help keep unemployment below 10%.
Still, he says, credit could be hard to come by for business owners hoping to renovate or expand.
IBRC Head Jerry Conover points out Indiana led the nation in job creation in September, adding the state could tack on as many as 50,000 jobs in 2010.
Conover also predicts the housing bubble in the state has fully burst and home sales should begin to pick up.
Conover's IBRC Colleague Tim Slaper says there have been pockets of the state, like Bloomington and the surrounding area, which have been relatively lightly-hit by the recession and may be among the first to see lost jobs come back.
The panel also predicts income levels in the state could be up as much as 2% by the end of next year, as part of a worldwide turnaround.
While the group says oil prices will still be volatile in 2010, it expects stocks to be a steadying force, exhibiting slow but consistent growth.
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