Economic Forecast: Nevada Lags in Recovery

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RENO, NV - A local economist says the bad news is northern Nevada's economic indicators are still dropping. The good news is they aren't dropping as fast as they once were.

"We haven't stopped dropping," says Brian Bonnentant of the Center for Regional Studies at the University of Nevada Reno, "but decline is less."

Bonnentant told a conference at the Reno offices of the Associated General Contractors there are positive signs on the national level, but Nevada's economy will take longer to recover.

And, he says, it may never return to the high growth days we saw in 2005 and 2006.

Instead he sees a "measured, balanced growth" as more likely and he says we'll carry the lessons of this recession into whatever economy follows. "I think people are going to pay attention if we ever get back to this drastic increases that we may need to start rainy day funds and those kinds of things. "

Bonnenfant says our recovery is lagging because our economy depends on consumption and "exporting our taxes to visitors." Both construction and tourism have been hard hit by the recession.

"When we're basing our recovery off a narrow tax base with visitors and consumption, then we're going to be caught until those visitations and consumption come back around."

Bonnenfant says he expects the innovation of small business to lead the way as the nation recovers from the recession.