Retired UW-Madison Economist Don Nichols said today that Wisconsin should weather the current recession better than many other states.
Speaking at an Economic Outlook conference at the Fluno Center, Nichols said the state’s economic activity should decline slightly over the next two quarters, but may rebound somewhat toward the end of the year.
He said housing state housing prices may actually rise slightly, unlike states such as California, which may see a 30 percent decline this year.
“Wisconsin’s housing sector has behaved in a much more prudent fashion than housing in the country as a whole,” he said.
“Wisconsin’s building boom peaked in early 2005, not 2006, and has had a longer, slower decline. Housing prices here did not increase as much in percentage terms as in the rest of the country and only a small percentage of mortgages are in difficulty at this time.
“Indeed, Wisconsin has one of the lowest percentages of delinquent mortgages in the nation,” he said.
He also noted that exports have performed well in Wisconsin and that the high price of corn has caused increases in farm income.
Still, he said the state will be hurt by rising fuel and food prices and from the credit crisis which makes borrowing more expensive.