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2009 Economic Report to the Governor Shows Economic Slowdown

Press Release

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

2009 Economic Report to the Governor Shows Economic Slowdown

Over the past year, the national economy has experienced substantial setbacks, leading to weakening in the Utah economy which is expected to persist into 2010 according to the 23rd annual Economic Report to the Governor which was presented to Utah Governor Jon Huntsman today.

"We are facing hard economic times that require innovation and creativity to engage progress," Governor Huntsman said. "Fortunately, because of our economic development efforts, Utah has a strong foundation and is better suited to face this turmoil than many other states in the region and country. It is times like this that we can be prepared to continue our progress by positioning ourselves to flourish when our economy rebounds."

During 2008, intense national pressures that included tighter mortgage lending standards and higher energy prices amplified Utah's deceleration. Consumer confidence fell, credit tightened, home prices and construction activity declined, and retail sales slowed considerably. Contraction in housing-related and manufacturing industries, combined with diminished growth in other sectors, caused Utah's annual employment growth to fall from 4% (48,000 new jobs) in 2007 to just 0.2% (2,500 new jobs) in 2008 and the unemployment rate to increase from 2.7% in 2007 to 3.7% in 2008. The value of permit authorized construction fell to the lowest value since 2003. The value of energy and mineral commodities produced in Utah remained at record levels, due to both higher prices and increased production.

2009 Outlook

Over the past 20 years, Utah's economy has diversified and become more broadly integrated with the U.S. economy, and therefore the state's 2009 economic outlook closely depends on developments at the national, and even global, level. As a result, the Utah economy is expected to further weaken in 2009. On a year-over quarterly basis, the rate of employment decline is expected to bottom out during the third quarter of 2009 at 1.7%, achieving positive growth by the second quarter of 2010.

Report Overview - the report can be found on the web at Governor.Utah.Gov

The Economic Report to the Governor is the preeminent source of information about Utah's economy. The report provides information to elected officials, business leaders, and citizens, which highlights Utah's economic conditions of the past, present, and future.

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