Economists see gloom, not doom for Missouri

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The economy should start improving in early 2002 for both the state and the nation but it is unlikely to regain the bullish growth of recent years, economists told legislative budget writers Tuesday.

The forecast spells gloom but not necessarily doom, as state government will have to balance weak tax receipts with rising demands for new spending.

"We're going to have to give back a chunk of the prosperity that we enjoyed in the late 1990s that was not sustainable," said Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers of St. Louis. "And then ... our prosperity is going to grow at a slower rate from there forward."

The state should expect no revenue growth for the fiscal year that runs through June 30, said Ed Robb, director of the Economic Policy and Analysis Research Center at the University of Missouri.

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