Albany -- A noted Georgia economist says the United States is definitely in a recession.
Former Georgia State University professor Dr. Donald Ratajczak says it will be a tough year to find a job.
He told a standing room only crowd at Albany's Darton College that students need to continue their education.
Ratajczak said you can tell how tough economic times are, by the number of people that come to hear him speak. It was a full room, with many of the top bank and finance executives in South Georgia to hear him talk.
President Bush's assessment not withstanding, he says there's no doubt the U. S. Economy is in a recession. "The employment declines are intensifying. This is classic recession."
Ratajczak said the housing foreclosure increases, loss of jobs, skyrocketing fuel prices, and huge expense of the War have pushed the economy into recession. He says increasing world demand for oil and food products will push prices even higher.
"The people in India and China, as they move up into the middle class, change their diet. Instead of having just staple grains, they want more meats, things of that nature," Ratajczak said.
Ratajczak said the demand for agricultural products for both energy and food will make farming an economic winner during these bad times, good news for South Georgia.
"Everything indicates very strong agricultural market this year. Obviously we need to have the rain. We need to be able to produce, but if we have production we're going to have good prices," Ratajczak said.
Ratajczak said he expects the recession to be a short one, but says the recovery will be slow.
Dr. Ratajczak expects oil prices to skyrocket this summer. He said by next year he expects the home building market to show the first signs of rebound.