U.S. Chamber of Commerce economist speaks at MIC meeting

INDIANAPOLIS – Martin Regalia, senior vice president and chief economist, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, spoke at the annual Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) meeting this morning discussing the economic outlook.

It has been the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and Regalia says although the recession is behind us, we have a long way to go and will continue to face challenging issues.

“Good news is we’re out,” he said addressing the audience. “Bad news is we’re not growing as fast as we’d like. We’re going to see elevated unemployment levels and not as high of job creations as we’d like.”

The slow recovery stems from a number of issues, which Regalia discussed, including the housing market, investment, labor, banking and credit markets, and President Obama’s budget forecast. Regalia described the president’s budget as “absolutely horrendous” due to the amount of federal spending.

At the end of Regalia’s speech, the audience asked a few questions, one of which regarded the state of the banking and lending industry. Regalia thinks in the coming six months, we’ll gradually start to see more lending. Then in the six months after that, lending levels will return to near normal.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a pro-business lobbying group representing many businesses and associations across the United States.

Other speakers included Tim Buche, MIC president and CEO; Jade West, vice president of government relations of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors; Larry Little, senior vice president and chief brand officer of Cycle World; Paul Vitrano, executive vice president, Specialty Vehicle Institute of America; and Cam Arnold, vice president of communications, MIC.

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