New Jersey Faces Mixed Economic Forecast

TRENTON (AP) -

Economists say there is reason to be optimistic about New Jersey’s recovery but warned Monday that the state’s constrained budget, tax structure and lagging employment could dampen progress.

Government and business officials met in Trenton for the Garden State Economic Forum to discuss the state’s economy since the 2008 recession.

The conference comes as the state faces a pending transportation trust fund shortfall and an ongoing debate over public pensions.

James Glassman, an economist with JPMorgan Chase, says falling unemployment claims show a recovery. But Jason Bram, a researcher with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, called the recovery sluggish, noting that the rate of residents delinquent on their debt is higher than the national figure by nearly three points.