Louisiana's economy is growing, but it's slow

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana's economic outlook is steady, but not recovering as quickly as some would like.

Baton Rouge economist Loren Scott says the next two years are even more clouded in uncertainty than last year.

During a Baton Rouge Business Report luncheon Scott outlined his report. "I've never known a time in the 30 plus years we've been doing these forecasts where I've seen more potential new projects that will be announced between now and February of next year," says Scott.

Scott says the state's economy is recovering, but slower than normal. He blames a weak U.S. economy. "If you look at our state and you read the report there are certain negatives that's out there that's going to keep us from growing a lot faster," said Scott.

In the Baton Rouge area, he predicts 5,000 new jobs in the $4.1 billion chemical industry. He also acknowledged new companies like L'Auberge casino and Ameritas, an information technology and software development firm. On the down side, the closure of Avondale Shipyard and GM in Shreveport will hurt the state.

"It's always good to hear somebody speak on the state. It was positive, he sounded like it was positive and the new creation of jobs around here," says Jason Stutes. Stutes works for Shoppers Choice, a largely online company that sells outdoor kitchen and appliances. They have recently opened a Baton Rouge showroom.

"Based on what we're seeing and on the message Loren gave us today we expect really very positive things in 2013," said Clint Penfield. Penfield oversees the Baton Rouge operations for Raising Cane's.

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