Some Signs of Economic Improvement: Comptroller - NBC Connecticut

Some Signs of Economic Improvement: Comptroller

Surplus projected to be $116.4 million.

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    There are signs that more of this is coming into the state.

    Connecticut’s economy has a long road to recovery, but there are signs of improvement, according to Comptroller Kevin Lembo

    Fuel cells and aerospace are industries of growth, Lembo said, and exports from these industries might be contributing to slight improvements in the financial outlook over last month’s estimates.

    The state added 5,400 payroll jobs between January and February 2011, Lembo said. So far, Connecticut has regained about 25 percent of the 118,400 jobs lost to the recession in 2008, Lembo said.

    However, state unemployment remains high at 9 percent.

    Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell to 8.8 percent, which is a two-year-low, and 216,000 jobs were added.

    The state could end the fiscal year with a surplus of $116.4 million or more in the general fund, Lembo said, which is almost $60 million more than was expected last month.

    “Connecticut’s focus must include fuel cells and transportation – industries that have flourished when the rest of our economy floundered,” Lembo said. “When jobs were still bleeding across virtually all industries, Connecticut’s exports increased at a rate of 14.7 percent in 2010, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.”

    Further signs of improvement are a 36.8 percent growth in national corporate profits, which is the strongest rate of growth since 1950, Lembo said.

    “These economic indicators should be used as guidance – leading us to areas of focus for the future, rather than reason to borrow or spend as our state did in the past,” Lembo said.