Is Miss. in for a bumpy ride off cliff?

Published 12:50 am Thursday, November 29, 2012

Trying to predict Mississippi’s economic future is, at best, a crapshoot, and the odds of which way the dice will turn are as unpredictable as the weather.

Earlier this week, economists meeting in Jackson predicted that the Magnolia State’s economic growth and employment statistics should increase slightly in 2013.

A growth rate of 1.6 percent is forecast, compared to a 0.5 percent rate for the current year.

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But for residents and business owners, any improvements seem slight at best.

In another bit of economic news from Mississippi this week, signs point not to growth, but shrinkage, at least in terms of one industry.

The state’s casinos had their worst month in 15 years in October, with the state’s river casinos — including the one in Natchez — collectively dipping by 11 percent over the previous year.

That’s particularly bad when you consider than the last year numbers included the loss of nearly an entire month’s revenue for the river casinos due to the record flooding.

Mississippians must remain cautiously optimistic in the days ahead as the federal government attempts to avoid driving the nation’s economy off the so-called “fiscal cliff.” If they fail to swerve in time, Mississippi’s economy will almost certainly take a rough tumble along with the rest of the country.

Buckle up, as the ride ahead may be a slightly bumpy one.