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Bill Watkins, who heads the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at California Lutheran University, has consistently been the most pessimistic of economists who closely follow the California economy, and the center's latest report is no exception.

Watkins, who for many years headed a similar organization at the University of California, Santa Barbara, believes that the state is fated for a long and slow economic recovery that will lag behind the national recovery, with persistently high unemployment rates.

"It is amazing how California, which once led the world in economic vigor and change, is now so resistant to any change," says a summary of the center's quarterly forecast. "Its economic joints are becoming arthritic, and its arteries clogged, faster than those of its aging population."

The forecast points to the state's losing more people to other states than in-migration, weak home prices and "very weak" economies in the state's Central Valley as signals of the continued economic malaise.

Economists in other public and private venues, especially at UCLA's Anderson School and Beacon Economics, have been more optimistic about the state's recovery from the worst recession since the Great Depression, and the state government's own economists generally are more optimistic as well.

More details from the Cal Lutheran forecast can be found here.


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