Economists see bright future for state | PostIndependent.com

Economists see bright future for state

Ivy Vogel

Economists are confident that the economy will improve in the next five years provided that there are no financial scandals, the war in Iraq doesn’t escalate, the oil industry remains stable and inflation and energy prices don’t drastically increase.After presenting the state economic forecast at the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce, Janet Rogers, senior economist for the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting, got a chuckle from the crowd as she listed the reasons her forecast would be wrong.”We’re always wrong so I thought I’d list the reasons for it,” Rogers joked. “Seriously, I’m confident the long-term prospects for Colorado are very positive.”Sales tax revenue in Colorado rose 4 percent in 2003-2004 and is forecasted to increase 4.2 percent in 2004-2005, Rogers said.This is good because when sales tax revenue increases, consumers are spending more money. Consumers’ spending increases when they have confidence in the economy and job security.As a result, businesses make more money and produce more goods, Rogers said. In 2003, Colorado closed the fewest businesses in the nation and opened the second largest number of new businesses, Rogers said.Business owners and entrepreneurs who are not confident in the economy do not open new businesses, Rogers said.Despite increases in sales tax and consumer confidence, Colorado’s economic growth is projected to be slightly lower than national growth, Rogers said.Compared to the rest of the nation, Colorado is generally considered economically progressive; however, Colorado is struggling to recuperate from the technological crash of 2001, Rogers said.Rebuilding Colorado’s technological sector is a critical component that will help move the economy forward, Roger said.”The question now is, when are we going to move forward in a lunge instead of moving forward slowly like we are now,” Roger said.Contact Ivy Vogel: 945-8515, ext. 534ivogel@postindependent.com


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