Louisville, KY (WDRB News) -- A local economist is revising his forecast for strong economic growth for all of 2012.
Uric Dufrene of the Indiana University Southeast School of Business says the latest numbers show the economy both locally and nationally has hit a soft spot.
There has been some recent good news concerning the economy. For the first time since 2004, Kentucky's jobless rate is equal to the national rate at 8.2 percent.
And two of Louisville's largest employers are adding jobs. Just this week Ford confirmed a third shift later this summer to build the Escape, and General Electric is adding a second shift at Appliance Park to manufacture a new line of refrigerators.
But Dufrene, who watches the numbers on a daily basis, says we are still not where we want to be in terms of employment.
"Year to date," he explains, "we are down between a thousand to two thousand jobs in the Metro area, despite some of the positive announcements from some of our local employers."
Dufrene says two reports released on Friday show that the economy, which was growing strongly during the first quarter of this year, is slowing as consumers worry about the volatility of the stock market which affects their net worth and determines their buying habits.
"Consumer confidence is lower than expected, and there is a report out of New York that manufacturing is weaker than expected," says Dufrene.
He expects the economy to grow more slowly for the rest of the year than originally projected. "I am just not real confident for a strong outlook," he concludes.
Dufrene says the Louisville area has still not made up for the 18,000 jobs lost since 2007.
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