“The nation is officially in recession and unofficially it has ended,” according to Tom Potiowsky, Oregon state economist. Potiowsky spoke last week during a lecture about the state’s economic future and how it will affect the future of Oregon education.
Oregon is still in recession, but he said the outlook is good because as the nation rises out of the recession, Oregon will follow.
The lecture was sponsored by the Phi Kappa Phi organization, which is an academic honor society that was founded in 1987 at the University of Maine. Every year the organization sponsors events such as the one given by Potiowsky.
Potiowsky’s lecture focused on the differences between today’s national economic recession compared to the one the nation experienced in the years 1990-1991. Differences include the nature of the war we are currently involved in and global deflation, which are concerning.
However, according to Potiowsky, “This recession we are in right now looks very mild and the recovery could be stronger, but currently, there are signs of mild growth.”
Potiowsky also feels that a major difference between this recession and the last was how the government responded. “Interest rates were raised, because the government was warned about inflation,” he said.
On a state level, Oregon is experiencing some troubling times because the state’s economy is manufacturing-based. Nations that were buying our goods no longer can at such a high rate because the recession is at a global level. “Our exports fell quite dramatically because of our close ties to the Asian financial crisis,” Potiowsky said.
However, Potiowsky said, “We are expected to grow.” But the state won’t get back on its feet completely until 2003. “Based on our economy, we won’t see the recovery until the third quarter,” Potiowsky said.
As for the future of Oregon, Potiowsky mentioned that he expects Oregon to be “better than the rest of the U.S. in the future.” Oregon is a high-tech industrial state and according to Potiowsky, the state is a worldwide competitor.
Oregon also has a great research base for technology. This is good news for the future of Oregon state education because companies will begin to build research campuses.
Potiowsky believes that the future of Oregon education looks good because the government is taking notice to the effect of higher education and the economy. “The legislature is getting the message that higher education is important for Oregon’s economical future.”
He noted that this doesn’t mean that the legislatures’ attention and funds will be focused on lower or high school education.
The lecture also addressed about investing, and encouraged people to take advantage of low-interest rates in Oregon. “Right now it is a good time to buy a home in Oregon,” he said. As the economy gets better, interest rates will rise.”
For more information visit Web site of the office of economic analysis at www.oea.das.state.or.us