Reporting Steve Large
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento’s fiscal forecast is finally changing from gloomy to growth.
“Is the narrative changing? Sure, the news is getting better,” Sacramento Metro Chamber President Roger Niello said on Tuesday in advance of a new economic report due out Wednesday.
The highly respected Sacramento Business Review will show the region’s economy bottomed out in early 2011 and is now in a slow recovery.
The forecast calls for modest improvement in unemployment and it breaks down the economy with predictions by sector.
The healthcare industry will make the biggest gains in the region, according to the report. Sutter Medical Center’s expansion is an example of some of that growth. It’ll be finished in 2013.
Government jobs will take a hit again, but less hard. The forecast predicts a contraction of up to 1 percent.
And then there are construction jobs. Linked to a continued bad housing market, they will likely stay flat.
The report also shows the public sector accounts for roughly 30 percent of the region’s economy, a number Niello identifies as too high, even for a state capital.
“I think it’s difficult to imagine we could get below 20 percent, or even 25 percent,” he said. “It’s still going to be a significant portion of our economy.”
Reaction to the predicted rebound on Sacramento streets Tuesday was skeptical.
“Not very good,” Sandra Johnson said when asked how she feels about the economy. “I’ve been without a job for over a year now, and it doesn’t seem to be very promising.”
“There’s a lot of studies that come out every day, some good some bad,” Brian Gause said. “I dont believe all of them, but you never know. I’m an eternal optimist.”
So is Sacramento’s 2012 trend a turnaround? The region has been hit by the economic downturn, but this report shows the darkest days may finally be over.