Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tenn. economy hasn't hit bottom yet, UT reports

Tennessee's economy will shrink for at least the next six months, the University of Tennessee's Center for Business and Economic Research said in its annual report, released Tuesday.

"Unfortunately, there is no sign of a bottom to the current cycle," researchers wrote. "To the contrary, by all accounts economic conditions are deteriorating at a more rapid pace."

The report predicts more job losses, less spending and reduced demand for agricultural products in 2009.


>> The state's unemployment rate will rise to 9.8 percent by the first quarter of 2010.

>> Education, health services and government are the only sectors expected to grow.

>> Manufacturing will suffer the most, losing 22,100 jobs by the end of the year statewide.


>> Taxable sales will fall 4.5 percent this year, led by a 20.6 percent decline in auto sales.

>> Spending on lodging will contract 8.7 percent as gasoline prices climb once again.

>> Food stores should see a slight increase in sales.


>> U.S. consumption of beef will fall 1 percent, and chicken will fall 0.2 percent. Both are major products in Tennessee.

>> Demand for corn will fall as the need for animal feed and ethanol declines.

>> Cotton mill use will drop 5.5 percent worldwide because of the slower economy.

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