Southern California's economic outlook has dimmed in recent months but the region should easily avoid falling into recession this year, according to a forecast being released today.
The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.'s forecast says the five-county region will post employment gains of 2% this year, or 138,000 jobs. That's off from 2.9%, or 190,000 jobs created last year. It also is down from the group's previous forecast for the year, which predicted growth of 2.5%, or 168,000 jobs.
Jack Kyser, the LAEDC's chief economist, said the slowdown in Hollywood production, declining international trade and weakness in industrial-building construction all are subduing the local economy.
But he said the area is holding up far better than much of the technology-dependent Bay Area, particularly Santa Clara County, which Kyser deemed as already in recession.
Kyser predicted that California overall will post job gains of 2.2% this year, down from 3.8% last year. He is counting on the national economy to keep growing in 2001, albeit by a sluggish 1.8% pace.