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Don't look for miracles, top economist warns.

JP Morgan economist Marc Goloven is happy with the progress of New York's economy, but warns real estate experts that the city took too much of a hit on 9/11 to deliver miracles.

"A year ago, Mayor Bloomberg was preparing a doomsday budget, but the skies over New York City have brightened considerably," he said in his "Economic Forecast" address to the Real Estate Board of New York on June 11. "The immediate fiscal fortunes of New York have improved decidedly--we expect a $2 billion budget surplus [by year end]."

According to Goloven, the only missing factor in the current turnaround has been employment growth, and 2004 promises to bring a significant number of new jobs.

"The recovery will take time--the job count in New York today is no higher than it was 50 years ago," he pointed out.

"This city has received an extremely disproportionate blow to its economy--New York lost 30% of the state's jobs in the last recession. But Wall Street is showing improvement, advertising and technology industries are demonstrating glimmers of recovery.

"There has been some outsourcing of jobs, but the threat has been exaggerated. As [obstacles] to economic activity recede, we will do better."

Goloven also praised Mayor Bloomberg's efforts to cater more to small and medium-sized businesses.

According to him, it's the small merchants who ensure long-term economic health.

"This economic recovery will be extremely well-balanced along the city," Goloven said. "It will radiate outward, [toward the outer boroughs] at first, and then it will radiate inward [toward Manhattan]."

Scott Rechler, president and chief executive officer of Reckson Associates, agrees that the past few months promise a good year for New York City.

"I think the last few months have been defined as robust and, if it stays that way, it will be a strong recovery.

"My guess is that we will have about two to three million new jobs nationally before the end of the year."
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Author:Misonzhnik, Elaine
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Jun 23, 2004
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