THE ECONOMIC FORECAST—Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Vice President and Senior Regional Officer Guhan Venkatu lays out the Fed’s prediction of the national and regional economy during the June 20 African-American Chamber of Commerce PowerBreakfast meeting. (Photo by Christian Morrow)

Though he’s only been the Vice President and Senior Regional Officer for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland for nine months, Guhan Venkatu has been an analyst with the Fed for 19 years. And in all that time he’s learned one thing about economic predictions.

“Economic forecasters exist only to make astrologers look good,” he said.

With that caveat, which he attributed to John Kenneth Galbraith, Vankatu presented the Fed’s current thinking on the national and the regional economies during the African American Chamber of Commerce’ June 20 PowerBreakfast meeting.

On the bright side, he said, employment has just passed the pre-recession peak. So technically, the recession is over. The recovery, however both nationally and regionally is weak.

The nation has recovered all the jobs lost following the 2007 economic crash, but the rate of recover for this recession is about half of the normal average of more than 4 percent. All the recessions going back to the 1970s featured a strong rebound.

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