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Report: Utica-Rome one of 22 areas in country at risk of "double-dip recession"

UTICA-ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - Could the Utica-Rome area be in for another recession?

A new report says yes.

The Utica-Rome area is among 22 cities that Moody's Economy is citing as in danger of a "double-dip recession," meaning that these particular metro areas are at risk of slipping back into their own, individual economic recession in as early as three months.

Economists came to the conclusion based on dwindling progress in employment, housing starts, home prices, and industrial production.

"With chances of a national double-dip recession now estimated at about one in four, several metro areas will probably experience their own downturns in the first half of 2011," said economist Andrew Gledhill, author of the report.

The cities that the report singles out as "at risk" are spread across the country, and include the following in no particular order:

*Utica-Rome, NY

*Lebanon, PA

*Springfield, OH

*Wilmington, NC

*Anderson, SC

*Athens-Clarke County, GA

*Mobile, AL

*Gadsden, AL

*Macon, GA

*Charleston, WV

*Akron, OH

*Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI

*Lafayette, IN

*Wichita, KS

*Hot Springs, AR

*Pine Bluff / Little Rock, AR

*Wichita Falls, TX

*Idaho Falls, ID

*Missoula, MT

*Salem, OR

"There was a time when all 385 metro areas were in a recession. We probably won't get to that point again, but given the growing risk of anther national recession, we're on the lookout for more metro areas that will be weakening substantially on several levels over the next six months to a year," Gledhill said.

The areas were noted as having sluggish hiring in the private sector, and a falloff in manufacturing - all of which economists say increases the chances of a slowdown.

But the Oneida County Executive has a different take on the report.
Anthony Picente says the information is grasping at straws.

"When you look at the map and you look at the areas that were designated, and there really is no rhyme or reason or it doesn't point to anything significantly that has reacted to any type of recession," said Picente.

The Oneida County Executive also calls the study questionable, saying that this area hasn't seen the vast reduction in jobs, seen in other areas.

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