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Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 10:53am

Forecaster: Gas Prices To Slow Economic Growth

Rising gas prices will slow Georgia’s economy for the rest of the year. That's the prediction from an economic forecaster popular in Georgia’s business community.

Gas prices have been going up for months now, but Rajeev Dhawan with Georgia State University’s Economic Forecasting Center says it hasn’t hit consumer spending yet because it’s been offset by a federal payroll tax credit. But he says, the real trouble will come as gas remains high in the coming months.

That’s when businesses pass on costs of high gasoline, high transportation, high flying costs and the customers then reduce back their consumption because the price is higher, that’s when you have a slight slowdown and I expect that for the next couple of quarters.

Dhawan points to Delta Airlines raising ticket prices and cutting back capacity.

He says the pull back in corporate investment will slow job growth.But he anticipates employment will pick up again next year as companies recalibrate.

Dhawan remained mum on how the new immigration law will affect the state's economy.