Deal Optimistic About State Economy

ATLANTA (AP) -Gov. Nathan Deal says he believes that Georgia’s economy is stabilizing after the worst recession since the Great Depression and the weak recovery that followed.      The Republican governor testified Tuesday before a joint committee of state lawmakers tasked with reviewing Deal’s spending plans.

The governor conceded that there was a dip in the amount of money that Georgia collected last month. Deal said the decline looked worse than it really was because the state had unusually large revenue collections in December 2010. Prior to last month’s figures, Georgia had reported 18 months of revenue growth.

Those financial figures are viewed as an economic benchmark. As salaries rise and consumers increase spending, the state collects more tax money.      State economist Kenneth Heaghney said he expected the economy to grow slowly.

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