Construction economist sees strengthened recovery for state

Construction industry here and elsewhere is several years away from returning to prosperity, Anirban Basu warns

A commercial construction economist has delivered a half-cup of good cheer on Mississippi’s economic prospects for 2012 and predicted the state should return to its pre-Gulf oil spill pace.

Anirban Basu, chief economist for the  Associated Builders and Contractors, set 2012 economic growth at 2.4 percent nationally and said he expects regaining momentum lost to the BP oil spill will let Mississippi “out-perform the national economy going forward.”

He cited inexpensive labor, a prosperous oil and gas sector and a strong economic development effort that has been especially adept at attracting…

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