(Jacksonville—March 9, 2012) –Dr. Hassan Pordeli, the Hugh Culverhouse Professor of Economics at Jacksonville University, said Thursday he is “personally very optimistic (the economy) will get back to normal” in the next two to three years and full employment (approximately 5-6 percent unemployment rate) is likely in the next two years, according to a news release from Retirement Strategies Inc.
“All the signs are positive,” Pordeli told a group of Jacksonville business people and retirees at a San Jose Country Club dinner. The dinner was hosted by Jacksonville financial planning company Retirement Strategies and sponsored by the money management firm Lord, Abbett & Co.
“Growth has been sluggish,” Pordeli said, but "all the statistics indicate the economy is in recovery.” He cited trends in consumer and business spending and sentiment and provided a comprehensive overview of the global, national and local economies. Pordeli projected 2012 U.S. GDP growth to be 2 percent, which he said was below the historical average of 3 percent, but still positive. “The U.S. economy, in my opinion, is very healthy.”
His biggest areas of concern are the European debt crisis, the struggling U.S. housing market, and Middle East tensions and associated escalating oil prices. He also said the continuing high unemployment rate and federal, state and local governments’ budget cuts will create a “near-term fiscal drag” on economic growth, but not enough to halt the recovery.
Pordeli gave a note of caution for American business. As the recovery continues, U.S. companies must guard their intellectual property. “America: we’re the place where inventions occur,” he said, “but we need to be careful we don’t lose our inventions” to cheap imitations.