In Michigan
7:46 am
Thu December 15, 2011

Economist: Outlook for 2012 looks bleak

LANSING, MI –

A senior economist for a leading national economic research firm is predicting a second recession in 2012.

Richard Yamarone is the senior economist for the Bloomberg Brief in New York. He believes a double-dip recession is in the offing.

Speaking Thursday to the Lansing Economic Club, Yamarone said the economy is operating far below its potential. Still, Yamarone notes Michigan is actually recovering from the recession faster than 48 other states. That's due in part to the state's two leading business sectors.

"Autos are doing very well," he says. "Agriculture is doing very well. Our exports are starting to wane, so that could be a problem...and our manufacturers are just not doing that well, either. So it looks like it's going to be some trying times."

Yamarone says Michigan must continue to diversify its export profile. He points to North Dakota, a leading exporter of natural gas. That state widely employs the use of a controversial drilling system known as "fracking;" a method that's also under intense scrutiny in Michigan.