Will South Carolina's economy start recovering next year or remain mired in the aftereffects of a two-year recession?
Four of the state's top university economists gather in Columbia today to share their outlooks for 2010 at a conference sponsored by USC's Moore School of Business.
Last year, economists showed how South Carolina entered the recession later than other parts of the nation and could take longer to recover. The state continues to struggle with the nation's fifth-highest unemployment rate and a tax revenue slide that has led to government budget cuts.
Even if the recession has ended, as some experts say, hiring is not expected to pick up soon as businesses remain cautious.
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When a recovery might start will be discussed at today's outlook conference on a panel that includes economists Frank Hefner from the College of Charleston, Don Schunk from Coastal Carolina University, Doug Woodward from USC and Bruce Yandle from Clemson University.
Also scheduled to speak at the invitation-only event is Harris DeLoach, chief executive of Hartville's Sonoco Products, the state's second-largest publicly traded company. He will speak on "Lean, Fit and Ready to Grow."
- Andrew Shain