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Forecast has glimmer

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State’s economy really is improving - a little

By Harold Morgon

The New Mexico economy is not “rocketing” to recovery, claims by headlines in Albuquerque notwithstanding. Nor is any explosive takeoff expected.
Growing some is what the state is doing. That is expected to continue, though getting back to 2 percent annual job growth isn’t even in the intermediate-term cards, much less being a near-term prospect.
This modest assessment of the state comes from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, the Department of Workforce Solutions and from the state’s consensus revenue estimate, released Oct. 19 by the Legislative Finance Committee.
Mark Snead, Denver-based vice president and branch executive for the Kansas City Fed, has the happy situation of not being bound by other guys’ numbers.
Due to “systematic errors” in job numbers from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Snead thinks the reported job numbers are low for 2011.
For a firmer feel of New Mexico’s situation, the Kansas City Fed internally models 30 variables of economic conditions.
Fed staffers also talk to people and to advisory board members from key businesses.
Putting it all together, Snead estimates New Mexico’s job growth at around 1 percent annually.
That’s about the national job growth rate.


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