California: The Road To Recovery

For the first time in five years, the California economy has shown signs of recovery. More people are working, more of them are buying homes and retail sales are up (see "Jobs & Homes: The Numbers"). That's welcome news to a state that suffered severely when recession and massive cutbacks in the aerospace industry and government sent the economy reeling in the early 1990s. The recession was the longest economic contraction California had experienced since the end of World War II. But analysts say the end is in sight. In fact, California will bounce back completely and become a leader in world commerce in the 21st century, according to recent reports by the Center for Continuing Study in Palo Alto, Cal., and the Center for the New West in Denver. Jewelers aren't totally convinced the economy is picking up -- at least for their industry. "I've read the recession is over, but that

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