What Does A Recession Look Like? Auburn University of Montgomery Economist Explains

Alabama Economist Predicts Economy Will Improve But Not Right Away
Alabama Economist Predicts Economy Will Improve But Not Right Away

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA0 - AUM economist Dr. Keivan Deravi will be the first to admit he's not an optimist nor is he a pessimist. He calls himself a realist, and the financial problems we're facing as a country are very real and very historic.

"Unprecedented," Deravi said.

And don't think for a moment Alabama will escape the hurt.

"We're not an island to ourselves," said Deravi.

It's been said the economy in central Alabama is stable because of state government and Maxwell Air Force Base. That may be true but there is a flip side to the coin.

"State employees have their jobs but like many of us they hear the gloom and doom and he or she will curtail spending and that will spread into retail," Deravi said.

The economist says the best way to paint a picture of the recession is to use numbers.

"In the simplest way a recession means foreclosures, people lose jobs and dreams."

They already have. Alabama's jobless rate stands at 5.6%. One year ago it was 3.5%

People like Deravi say decades of deregulation, greed and plain old-fashion out of control spending have opened the door to what we're feeling today; a massive, violent correction. Consider what's happening in Huntsville.

"New home construction in Huntsville is down 40%," said Deravi.

And it very well could get a lot worse in central Alabama in the next few months.

"California is looking at an unemployment rate of around 9%. That's something to look to. That state is so diverse and it mirrors the rest of the country. We will get what California has now," said Deravi.

As an economist Dr. Deravi relies on data and statistics to help him get a sense of what's going on with the economy. The realist in him says we will indeed eventually come out of this. Deravi's advice? Hunker down.

When it's all said and done Deravi predicts the jobless rate in Alabama will hit between 7 and 8%.