Will the Midwest Continue to Prosper?
While the economies in many Midwest states have fared the best in recent years, that may come to an end soon, not necessarily because this region’s economy will start to decline, but rather because other regions will see their economies improve at a faster pace.
“I think the first states to grow will likely be in the Midwest, but come 2012, 2013, I don’t think these states will be the fastest to grow,” Cochrane said.
In a sense, the Midwest’s potential for growth is limited for the same reason that it’s potential for decline during the recession was limited. It is not subject to the extreme lows of those economies tied to the housing market and auto industries, but it is not entitled to the extreme highs, either.
“It has a very stable economy that is very tied to agriculture,” said Wial, the Brookings Institute economist. “This looks to be a region with a slow and steady growth going forward, but it’s not going to lead the economic recovery on any kind of nationwide level.”
Still, after the massive economic downturn the country has just endured, and the financial wreckage that remains, slow and steady growth may look pretty good right now.
“If U.S. states were stock, there’s no doubt you would be selling California and buying Nebraska right now,” said Goss, the economics professor. Goss speculates that many Americans from elsewhere in the country would eagerly move to the Midwest today if they weren’t saddled with debts and underwater homes.
For the time being then, as Americans wait for the recovery to come to a city near them, we may have to simply take solace in knowing that even in the toughest times, the nation remains strong in its core.
—For a comprehensive credit report, visit the BankingMyWay.com Credit Center.