LCSN: NMSU economists: Worst is over

December 10, 2009. Retrieved online: December 10, 2009 from Steve Ramirez, Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES – There was consensus among three New Mexico State University economists on Wednesday: the worst of a global economic recession has apparently passed.

Professors James Peach, Christopher Erickson and Ken Martin conducted the fourth in a series of quarterly economic update forums Wednesday that have been intended to educate Las Cruces residents of the wide-ranging effects of a global economic recession that has lasted for more than a year. In the forums, Peach has focused on the U.S. economy, Erickson has discussed the local and regional impacts of the recession, and Martin has presented an overview of the stock markets and how it has changed.

The mood of the forums has been sobering at times, but Wednesday’s presentation, in the auditorium of the Good Samaritan Village, 3011 Buena Vida, was a bit more upbeat. While there were differences among the professors about exactly when the recession peaked, they agreed that there appears to be signs of recovery.

Martin said the performance of the stock market in recent months appears to be following an almost identical path it took in 1983, the last time there was an economic recession in the United States.

“Investors are hoping it’s the 1980s all over again,” Martin said. “Banks still are lending money, but I’m suspecting they’re buying a lot of treasury securities these days.”

Martin added there are still indicators in the stock market that there could be problems ahead. That should temper public feelings about economic recovery and the strength of the dollar.

Erickson, who said at a forum in May that Las Cruces was somewhat sheltered from the severity of the recession, now says that the state’s budget problems could have an effect on residents.

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