Housing market car production could be a big part of the recovery, says Wolfers
The so-called fiscal cliff has dominated economic news lately, but economist Justin Wolfers spoke with Jacki Lyden of NPR's All Things Considered on non-cliff economic news stories of 2012. According to Wolfers, professor of economics and public policy at the Ford School, the economy has "already gone over the cliff," as consumer confidence and businesses' willingness to invest have likely waned as a result of congressional gridlock during the previous year.
The good news, Wolfers said, is that there were definite signs of recovery in 2012, including a slow but discernible rise in the housing market. Car production, he said, will also figure into economic recovery going forward. Whether the recovery continues to move forward will nevertheless depend on policymakers. Unemployment continues to hover around 7.75 percent, however, with a growth rate of 2 percent. "This is four years after the recession began." Wolfers told NPR. "Usually, you would see the economy as having rebounded all the way back by now."