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Economic forecasters see some growth, if sluggish, for Michigan in 2012

Economic forecasters are telling state officials that 2011 was a pretty good year for economic growth and job gains. They expect that will continue into 2012 and beyond –just at a slower pace.

University of Michigan economist George Fulton said the unemployment rate should drop below 10 percent this year. He projects Michigan will see a gain of 26,000 jobs in 2012 compared to about 64,000 in 2011.

Fulton said that’s because auto sales are expected to slow down in 2012, and consumers remain cautious about spending.

“Unemployment – we see that slowly drifting down over time," said Fulton. "I think that’s one of the issues in this state because the rates, even though they are coming down are still too high.”

Fulton was one of the presenters at a conference today at the state Capitol. Budget officials use the forecast to determine how much revenue the state can anticipate as they put together a spending plan.

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