Florida economists trim forecast amid "fiscal cliff" concerns

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Florida economists on Friday trimmed their national economic forecast projections by about 5 percent to account for uncertainty they say will come in the weeks ahead as Congress and President Barack Obama wrangle over efforts to avert a “fiscal cliff” that will trigger automatic spending cuts beginning in January.

Meeting to recalibrate national economic indices, the Revenue Estimating Conference rolled back economic projections to take into account public reaction to efforts to avoid the automatic remedies that will kick in Jan. 2 if Congress does not pass a financial package acceptable to Obama. The president said Friday afternoon that any bill must have provisions requiring the wealthy to pay more. Amy Baker, coordinator of the Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, says businesses have already become more cautious in their economic outlook in anticipation of possible cutbacks. Consumers, on the other hand, have been too involved in election-year politics and are only now beginning to focus on budget issues, which will require the president to adopt austerity measures if an agreement is not reached by Jan. 2. If not, the plan calls for a combination of spending cuts totaling about $1 trillion over nine years. The automatic cuts include military and non-military spending.

“All of those issues are going to be on the table and inundating (consumers) for the first time,” Baker said. “You will see a much stronger response in regards to consumer sentiment as we move forward over the next several weeks.”

Via The News Service of Florida.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.