MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -
Business owner Derk Lyerly is one of those people who doesn't believe he's benefiting directly from the stimulus package. Still, that is not to say he hasn't noticed a change in the economy.. it seems to be getting better.
"We've noticed a slight improvement but I call it a false spring. I still think it's going to be awhile," said Lyerly.
Lyerly is not alone. According to a survey done by the National Association for Business Economics, economists believe the recovery is picking up steam but here's the odd part. That same survey says the economists do not necessarily believe the stimulus packages have had anything to do with the economic recovery.
Dr. Keivan Deravi is said to be one of the leading experts on the economy in Alabama. Deravi sees both sides. Deravi argues there is no doubt that parts of the stimulus packages have helped.
"One third went to states to help them with their budgets. Alabama, for instance, got around 3 billion dollars. Of that amount 90 million went into the Education Trust Fund while around 200 million was injected to K-12," said Dr. Deravi.
However, Deravi concedes the 'stimulus' part has yet to be felt but feels it's on the way.
"The stimulus part of the packages has been allocated for shovel-ready projects but first you have to identify those projects," said Dr. Deravi.
"I'm still seeing companies offering deals,' said Lyerly.
While there may be debate on whether the stimulus packages are in fact helping the economy, Derk Lyerly and Keivan Deravi feel they are right on the money with the recovery.
Lyerly feels good enough to enlarge his banquet room at his Cloverdale restaurant, Deravi is a predicting a full-blown recovery by 2012.
What will that recovery look like? The Alabama economist is predicting a 6% unemployment rate nationwide with 3% growth in the GDP.
In short the bad times should be over.
Right now Alabama's jobless rate is hovering around 11% while the country's unemployment rate is a little less than 10%, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.