MONTGOMERY CO., AL (WSFA) - County commissioners from around the state heard some disheartening economic news during the Alabama County Commissioner convention in Gulf Shores over the weekend. An Auburn Montgomery economist predicted a more bleak economy not only for the nation, but locally.
This news comes while Montgomery commissioners are in the midst of finalizing next year's budget and planning for the future. Auburn Montgomery economist Dr. Keivan Deravi says the economy has lost its mo-jo.
"No jolt, no acceleration, no locomotive to push the economy forward and that's the problem," Dr. Deravi said.
He says it was easy for him to make a bleak prediction for the coming years to county commissioners across the state.
"If the worst is yet to come, I don't want to see it," Montgomery County Commissioner Ham Wilson said.
But the hard part is predicting if there will be a turning point or another recession.
Dr. Deravi says the pace of the economy is slowing and almost every sector is weak. He says since April, the odds of a recession has doubled.
"There is no wind in our sail. There is no direction in our economy," Dr. Deravi said.
"It's 13 it's going to get bad, and 14 could be worse," District 5 Commissioner Reed Ingram said.
Ingram says there's no doubt that tough times are here and the belt has to get tighter.
"More conservative, continue the hiring freezing, the things that are going to get us nutrition," Ingram said.
Commissioners are weeks away from finalizing next year's budget. One Ingram says will be much lower and with deeper cuts as the revenue is under distress.
"We've got to take measures now so that we're not going through in two to three years burning up all our reserves," Ingram said.
A 15 percent drop in the housing market is predicted and property taxes are half of the county's revenue source.
"It's going to hurt the city of Montgomery, the board of education, the state of Alabama and Montgomery County," Ingram said.
"The good times are not going to be around the corner," Dr. Deravi said.
As they plan for the unknown, with a leaner budget for the long haul.