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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

June 4, 2009 at 11:10 AM

Washington seen as among first states to recover…but

Top of the News: I’ll be a guest on 94.9 KUOW’s noon The Conversation show today, where economist Andrew Gledhill of Moody’s Economy.com is due to give a forecast showing Washington as one of the first five states to swing out of the current unpleasantness.

It’s not surprising considering that Washington, and particularly Puget Sound, have been hurt less than many parts of the country — as painful as our cuts have been. And Washington would be poised to benefit from a diverse economy less dependent on real estate and finance than many other states.

And yet, there are always caveats.

Two come to mind: First, trade-dependent Washington will not be able to get much traction unless imports and exports begin some kind of recovery. While Chinese production is seeing some signs of life, American consumers are heavily in debt and won’t be buying in the volumes they did even in 2008. A weaker dollar might help Washington farmers in the export market.

Second, Boeing remains far from stable as long a its global customers are suffering and the issue of financing remains murky. Maybe the shoes have fallen. I hope so. The potential of a large order from United Airlines is certainly a hopeful sign. And in any event, recovery will likely be slow.

Today’s Econ Haiku:

Jobless claims are down

Euphoria will stay up

If this trend is real

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