Crain's New York has the story.
To Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, the recession may be over. But in Queens, Anthony Fodera isn't buying it. The president of 80-year-old bakery-goods distributor Fodera Foods says checks are being returned from customers who had pristine payment histories and orders are off by nearly 25% compared with this time last year.
“I don't see the recession being over, especially in New York City, where so much of business revolves around Wall Street,” Mr. Fodera says. “It's my gut [feeling] from what I'm seeing.”
For the city, Mr. Fodera's gut appears to be a better indicator than Mr. Bernanke's statement last week that “the recession is very likely over at this point.” With tax receipts, office and hotel room rentals and Broadway ticket sales all tumbling and unemployment continuing to rise, the city's economy has further to fall before the impact of this epic downturn finally subsides. Even the most optimistic economists' estimates have the five boroughs losing about 150,000 more jobs, on top of the nearly 100,000 jettisoned since August 2008. Experts, drawing on past experience, say the bottom could be more than a year away.
Recovery in the city traditionally lags the nation. For example, in 1991, the national recession ended in March, but the city's jobless rate rose for another 18 months. And unemployment in the city didn't peak until 14 months after the national downturn ended in November 2001.
“If the recession is ending now, we're probably looking at the end of next year before peak unemployment arrives,” says James Brown, principal economist at the state Department of Labor.