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Economic Slowdown



As the nation's economy slows down, so does Missouri's economy. Joe Driskill, the director of the Missouri department of economic development confirmed Missouri is in its first recession in nearly decade.

With the recession comes budget cuts. In the next two weeks, Governor Bob Holden will announce more budget cuts, totaling between 150 and 200 million dollars. Driskill says the government feels the impact of the ups and downs of the economy.

While government agencies brace for budget cuts, the business community is also responding to the changing economic climate. Even so, Ray Mc-Carty with the Missouri chamber of commerce refuses to call it a recession and criticizes Driskill for labeling the economic decline as a recession.

Driskill says he doesn't want consumers to hold back on spending during the holidays.

When lawmakers return to Jefferson City in January for the beginning of the session, the Missouri chamber of commerce will lobby for tax cuts that benefit businesses.

Mc-Carty says that will stimulate the economy.

With the impending announcement from governor Holden on the need for

additional budget cuts, it's unlikely any tax credits will gain widespread support during the session. Mc-Carty says if lawmakers do approve any tax cuts, they should go to businesses, not individual tax payers.

Various sectors of the economy have been hit especially hard by the recession, according to Driskill. He outlines which sectors have felt the impact.

News of the recession in Missouri originally came from the national bureau of economic research, a private company. Though the state uses this as a reliable source of information, the Missouri chamber of commerce questions the validity of the bureau's announcement that a recession is underway in Missouri. In its announcement, the bureau used a new definition of recession that does not conform to the classic definition, which categorizes a recession as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.