Monday, July 8, 2013 by Ed Bradstreet
Connecticut's economy started taking bigger strides forward in the first half of 2013, but a robust statewide recovery is unlikely for the second half of the year, economists say, as employers remain cautious about adding to their workforce. "We are on a modestly positive track from what had been an extremely disappointing and subpar recovery," said Peter Gioia, vice president and economist for the Connecticut Business & Industry Association. "We are going to see the economy strengthen in the fall and perhaps strengthen in a real fashion in 2014."
While better than 2012, key economic indicators from the first half of 2013 such as new housing starts, employment levels, and state gross domestic product still aren't to the point where economists feel Connecticut is on the verge of an economic boom. Employment levels at the end of May, for example, reached their highest levels since February 2009, with 1.65 million residents actively in the workforce. Key industries like manufacturing and finance, however, are still trending downward, which is holding back the state's recovery, Lanza said. Employment in those sectors must gain steam if the state wants a rosier economic outlook, economists say.