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USGNN Original StoryEconomist Gives Hope for the Future
June 2, 2009

"For the time being the worst is behind us," said William Greiner, executive vice president, chief investment officer and manager of UMB's Trust Investment Division. These were his opening comments to members of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, to whom he spoke yesterday during their meeting in Minneapolis.

"If you have another meeting at this time next year you'll be in a much better mood," he added.

Specific to the housing market, Greiner said that although housing prices and interest rates are low, sales haven't gained traction yet. Greiner says this is beginning to happen, though.

"Inventory is nowhere near where it was," he said. "New home inventory levels are starting to correct as well. A year from now you will see significant improvement."

"Next year when unemployment stabilizes people will start to look at buying homes," he added.

Further good news for the future is that Greiner said data shows we will see an end to the recession in the next six months.

But where Greiner wasn't as positive was in regards to our national debt.

"We haven't been in this position since Word War II," he said. "We're approaching our problem with debt by getting into more debt and I'm very uncomfortable with this."

Greiner says there is another way out of this and this is through non-inflationary economic growth. To that end, he said there are a few things to look out for in the next three to four years.

"We can't shrink our workforce. We've got to keep people working," he said.

He also said employees need to work smarter and more efficiently.

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