South Coast Economist Says Coronavirus Crisis Is Triggering Recession Which Could Hit Region Hard

Mar 18, 2020

The coronavirus conference is creating huge health concerns on the Central and South Coasts. But, as businesses close, and more and more people end up out of work, experts say it’s all but certain we are in for some tough economic times as well. An expert in Ventura County says we are headed into a recession.

Matthew Fineup is Executive Director of California Lutheran’s University’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting. The economist admits it’s difficult to even get a handle on the situation, and the how bad it could get.

Fineup says one thing is certain: We are headed into a recession that could last for at least a few months.

The economist says it’s bad news for Ventura County, which already had a weak economy performing below most of the other counties around the state. Fineup says Santa Barbara County is in somewhat better shape, but with its tourism industry being hit hard by the situation, the results won’t be good.

The federal government is scrambling to try to deal with the economic impacts of coronavirus, taking action like having the Federal Reserve lowering the interest rate, and pushing back the federal income tax deadline. But, Fineup says the crisis is just too big for government action to make a difference. He says government doesn’t have the ability to stop something hitting on such a large scale.

Still, the economist also says we need to have perspective about the situation. The moves like closing bars, and limiting restaurant operations may hurt the economy, but are also key to stopping the virus.

Cal Lutheran is the parent of KCLU Radio.