Is this recovery ever going to speed up?
Not anytime soon, says Wells Fargo’s just-released New Jersey Economic Overview. The state’s economy is keeping pace with the rest of the United States, growing about 2.5% in 2010. (The national economy grew 2.6% last year.)
The good news: Activity picked up in a number of key sectors, including trade, information, manufacturing, finance and leisure/hospitality. The ports, in particular, were extremely active, with container trade up 5.3% through October, the report says.
That’s good, because construction and government saw declines this year.
It’s not surprising, then, that job growth followed the same pattern, up 1.5% in transportation and information, declining in construction and gaming. Healthcare jobs increased as well.
The bad news: the healthcare boost likely is short-lived as the cost of medical care continues to increase. Continuing economic difficulties in Europe could affect the container business, though to a relatively small degree. Leisure jobs likely will decline as the state’s casinos face increasing competition. And nominal income growth was just 4%, compared with 5.4% nationally.
But unlike Europe, the United States isn’t slipping into recession.
“The probability of even weaker economic activity or perhaps another recession is close to zero percent,” the report says.
Next year, with pressure from Europe possibly affecting consumer and investor confidence, the firm predicts that the national and New Jersey’s economy will expand at about 2% annually for the next two years.
I guess we’ll take it.