The good news is that University of Connecticut economists join the more than 90 percent of economists who believe the state's recession will bottom out sometime in the fourth quarter of this year (or in the first quarter of next year).
The bad news is they also predict the state could ultimately lose 78,000 to 110,000 jobs.
“It could take years to recoup those job losses,” says Steven P. Lanza, executive editor of The Connecticut Economy, a quarterly UConn journal.
During the 1990s, the state lost about 156,000 jobs and it took 11 years to recover them.
During the 2000 recession, the state lost 58,000 jobs, taking seven years to rebound.
With joblessness rising, consumers — major shapers of overall economic activity — likely will stay cautious, making for a slow turnaround.
Meanwhile, two top legislative leaders say they're still not close to reaching a deal on a new state budget. They continue to disagree over levels of spending cuts and borrowing, as well as whether higher taxes are necessary.
Last month, at a gathering at the state Capitol, East Hartford Mayor Melody Currey said local cities and towns need answers.
“We cannot continue to do business without the state having a budget in place,” Currey said.
Still, the forecasters believe the worst is already behind them in terms of lost economic activity and expect that the economy will gradually improve later in the year.