Economic forecast is optimistic about state

Colorado is among the five states expected to recover first from the recession, according to, a Moody’s web site.

Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Texas and Washington will recover during the fourth quarter this year, Moody’s predicted, followed by Alabama, Georgia, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota and South Dakota in the first three months of 2010.

Moody’s predicts Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming will bounce back in the second quarter of 2010, and all other states will follow in the third quarter of 2010 or later.

Colorado entered the recession later than 33 other states and in the same month, November 2008, as four other states, according to Moody’s, which is an economic research and analysis company.

Housing, income, employment by industry, population, migration, employment, output by industry and the cost of doing business in that state all factored into Moody’s projection.

Colorado’s success can be explained by two main factors, Colorado economic experts say: The state doesn’t depend on one industry for the bulk of its jobs, and housing hasn’t been as volatile as many other states.

There was a greater variety of jobs in Grand Junction in April than a year earlier, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Job diversity and job creation should pull the state out of the recession, Ann Driggers, president and CEO of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership.

“There’s not one industry that you’d say, ‘That has Colorado written all over it,’ ” Driggers said.

An abundance of technology, medical and science-related jobs are helping Colorado survive, said James Smith, an economics professor at University of Colorado at Denver.

Smith said states that rely on one major industry are in more trouble than Colorado, a state which is supporting many industries that will last into the future because they “help people.”

“You don’t want to get stuck in old, failing industries and miss the next wave,” he said.
Colorado home costs remained relatively stable for the years before and during the recession, and the foreclosure rate already was high before the recession: first in the nation in 2006.

Colorado didn’t have the same housing boom and bust common in other Western states, such as Arizona and Nevada, Driggers said.

Smith warned people should refrain from getting too excited about Moody’s prediction.

“The best minds don’t know” what will come next, he said.


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