That was the big debate among economists attending the recent Maryland Bankers Association forum held at the BWI Westing in Linthicum, MD.
The VP and regional economist for M&T Bank Corp, Gary Keith, expects Maryland's real gross domestic product to rise by 0.5 percent in 2009, compared to the nationwide predicted drop of 1.4 percent this year.
And the chief economist at SunTrust Banks, Gregory Miller, noted that Maryland added 13,000 jobs in the past year, even as there was a nationwide loss of 2.6 million jobs.
But, Maryland's unemployment *rate* increased from 3.6 percent in 2007 to 5.3 percent by November 2008 according to the U.S. Department of Labor. This leads Anirban Basu of Sage Policy Group to assert that Maryland really is in a recession, despite the positive indicators cited by the other economists.
The one area is which the economists did agree was that the Department of Defense's base realignment program will have a positive effect on the Maryland economy. This will bring an influx of jobs, and there will be new construction around Fort Meade and the Aberdeen Proving Ground.
So, stay tuned....