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SPEAK OUT: Will the Fiscal Cliff Slow DC Metro Area's Economic Recovery?

Data shows DC-area improving on three key metrics, but will it continue?

 

As the Democrats and Republicans continue to blame each other for lack of compromise on federal spending matters, it seems more likely that the U.S. will plunge over the fiscal cliff like Wile E. Coyote in the old Road Runner cartoons.

Media coverage of Washington's cat and mouse (or coyote and land bird) game has overshadowed some positive movement in the economy in the metro area.

The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization, recently released its December 2012 report on economic recovery data in the top 100 U.S. metropolitan areas.

Overall, Brookings data shows the country moving slowly in a positive direction, with unemployment ticking down, output edging up and home prices posting gains.

The Washington, DC metro area--which includes the District, Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia--moved up four places from the previous quarter, from 62nd to 58th.

In four key indicators, measuring growth or decline from the indicator's lowest point (or trough) over the last three years to the third quarter of 2012, Washington, DC, ranks as follows:

  • Employment - 36th, up 3.6% since a low in the first quarter of 2012
  • Unemployment - 73rd, down 1.3 pts. since a low in the fourth quarter of 2009
  • Output (Gross Domestic Product) - 54th, up 6.4% from a low in the second quarter of 2009
  • House prices - 37th, up 1.4% since the second quarter of 2012.

While those figures may seem like meager recovery, at  least the numbers continue to trend positively.

How do you think the fiscal cliff will affect our area's economic recovery?

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