Economic report: It’s going to get worse before it gets better

There’s always the good news and the bad news, right?

Well, we were delivered the good news first. President Barack Obama allocated $48 billion for infrastructure, money that will surely help put the construction industry back to work and jumpstart the economy.

Now it’s time for the bad news.

Despite this boon to our industry, economic forecasters say the economy is still going to be pretty bleak.

The U.S. unemployment rate — now at 7.6 percent, the highest in more than 16 years — is expected hit a peak of 9 percent this year, according to a report from the Associated Press. The news organization cites leading forecasters in the latest survey by the National Association for Business Economic, a report expected to be released today.

NABE president Chris Varvares, head of Macroeconomic Advisers, and his fellow forecasters now say they expect the economy to shrink by 1.9 percent this year, a much deeper contraction than the 0.2 percent dip projected in the fall, the AP reports.

The biggest hit to the economy is expected the first six months, forecasters said, according to the news report. The NABE forecasters say that they expect the economy to shrink 5 percent in the January-March quarter, a drop from the 1.3 annual drop projected previously, according to the report.

Click here for the full Associated Press article, “Forecasters: Economy worse in ’09, better in ’10.”