Indiana recession losing oomph

July 7, 2009
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The recession is winding down in Indiana, but the state will lag a few months behind the nation when the economy starts to pick up steam.

Thatâ??s how an specialist who tracks Indiana sees it.

Sean Maher, who also focuses on the automotive industry, expects Indiana to gradually make a transition to growth in the first quarter of next year, one to two quarters later than the national recovery.

â??Itâ??s still looking pretty bad, unfortunately,â?? Maher says. â??But there are some very significant parts that are beginning to improve.â??

Hoosier jobs in leisure businesses, retailing and construction are coming back. Home-building permits are perking up in several Indiana cities, largely because the state wasnâ??t clobbered as badly by the housing downturn as some areas of the country.

Countering the bright spots is manufacturing. Indianaâ??s close ties to Detroit automakers hammered the state, and will be the main drag on a quicker recovery, Maher says. General Motors and Chrysler are emerging from their respective bankruptcies and ultimately will prompt suppliers to gear up and bring back workers. But not before suppliers shrink some more.

The recovery will be slow through next year and start picking up momentum in 2011, Maher says.

So the end is in sight â?? if Maher is correct. Howâ??s that for good news? Do you agree with him?
  • Maybe, in a perfect world. Keep in mind that the Obama administration is not through screwing things up. When the new taxes hit hard, and they will, whatever recovery we would hope for will be strangled into submission.

    It's not that I'm so down on Obama, it's just politics and government in general. No one gets it anymore. And we all suffer because all Washington knows how to do is spend, spend, spend. He just happens to be worse at it because he wants government to grow and to have more people dependent upon the government. It's a recipe for disaster, total disaster.
  • Watch Toyota (forklifts) in Columbus and Cummins in Columbus and Cat in Lafayette (heavy diesels) for signs that the stimulus money has trickled down to increased orders for durable goods.

    Also pay attention to Celadon and FedEx, as the leading logistics companies in the area. All have pulled in their horns, and when they start to hire again it will be a very good sign that more goods are moving to retail. I think it will come sooner than the first quarter of 2010...probably fourth quarter 2009. People may not feel rich enough to buy a house, car, or RV, but they'll spend more on stuff around the house.
  • A lot is going to happen between now and 2011. I doubt much will change until the next Presidential election. With higher taxes looming on the horizon and realizing that the rules are in a constant state of flux, turmoil and chaos in DC makes for little serious investment. There's no confidence for significant risk taking, is there?
  • My company is not as much worried about this year as next, needing enough backlog to get through it

    What were seeing is just a complete stoppage of commercial buildings, other than a few select areas

    We're hoping that we can be lean enough into 2010 to get through it, as I don't think everyone can wait till 2011 - that's a long time off and many quarters to go through.
  • BerwickGuy, that is the most ambiguous comment I have read on IBJ blogs today. Are you running for some political office?

    On the other hand, thundermutt makes specific references to business results. This is something I for one am glad to read.

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.