Some optimistic news on the economy -- a prominent Alabama economist says the recession is coming to an end. Bob Allsbrook is chief economist for Regions Bank in Alabama. He says he anticipates economic growth to begin in the next two months.
But he cautions, it's not the kind of growth we're used to. And he says it's up to consumers to be prepared. He shared his predictions with WSFA 12 News anchor Mark Bullock.
Allsbrook predicts next month may mark a turn-around. But he says not to expect too much too soon.
"I argue that we're now in the 12th month of a change in our economy and society that will last another 20 years," he said.
What is that change? Allsbrook says people are reducing their debt and putting more money into savings than ever before.
"And if we're saving, that means we're not spending," he explained.
In fact, the only entity spending big cash these days is the government, with its massive stimulus packages, "which prevented a depression," Allsbrook admitted.
However, that government spending is widening the deficit, which in turn will eventually mean higher taxes and inflation down the road.
That's why Allsbrook recommends individual consumers stay the course -- keep reducing your debt and keep adding to your savings in order to position yourself for the extremely slow economic growth that's to come.
"Be sure you know what your financial plans are with savings and with debt and if they're the same plans you had two years ago, you're probably not doing the right thing," he said.
Even though Allsbrook predicts the recession will end soon, it's the National Bureau of Economic Research that officially declares the end of an economic downturn. That's not likely to happen until the end of the year.