ALAMEDA, Calif. — The California economy is recovering, but so slowly that it’s hard to notice.
That’s the summary from the UCLA Anderson Forecast, released Wednesday morning.
“Slow growth means that while the groundwork for faster growth is being put down, there is not a lot of perceptible change,” senior economist Jerry Nickelsburg wrote about the Golden State’s economy.
The UCLA Anderson School of Management releases an economic report every quarter.
“Compared to our forecast of last June, the current forecast is slightly weaker,” Nickelsburg wrote. “This repeats a pattern of small downward revisions that we have been making through the year.”
The report’s most encouraging signs come from California’s trade sector, as measured by activity passing through airports, seaports, trains and roads.
Inbound activity at the state’s three major seaports has rebounded, and export activity is increasing as well, the report said.
The weakest indicators, according to the report, come from California’s housing market, which remains moribund.
Nickelsburg wrote that signs of the state’s slow economic recovery are reflected in its accounts — despite a budget crisis in which it has gone 76 days into the fiscal year without adoption of a budget.
“It may come as a surprise to some, in light of the budget gridlock in Sacramento, but government revenues also show increased economic activity in California,” he wrote. “Once one adjusts for price changes and seasonality, sales tax revenues have increased over the past year.”
But the state’s economy won’t really gather pace until 2012, Nickelsburg wrote.
Some of the state’s woes are reflections of weakness in the national economy, according to the Anderson report.
“What normally happens in a recovery is that the proverbial baton is passed from government spending and inventory restocking to housing, consumer spending and investment,” wrote senior economist David Shulman. “In this recovery, somewhere along the way the baton was dropped as housing appears to have double-dipped and consumer spending never really took off.”
The national recovery also will be slow to take off, he wrote.
“In an economy wracked by a post-financial bubble environment and living in a theme park of policy uncertainty, we forecast very sluggish growth accompanied by high unemployment,” Shulman wrote.