New York, NY —
Top city and state officials are painting a constrained picture of the city's future economy. At the annual State Financial Control Review Board, they reiterated that the recovery will continue to be difficult and slow. Mayor Bloomberg testified that a decline in employment, and a sliding real estate market are hurting the recovery. And he says that's not all.
BLOOMBERG: Compounding the difficulties in our economy as everyone knows is another very serious threat, however - the rising costs of non-controllable expenses such as health care benefits and pensions.
The mayor says if these costs are not reigned in, the city will have a projected $5 billion budget gap in 2011. And he says in four years, pension costs will account for nearly 11 percent of total expenditures.
To keep the city's budget balanced, the mayor also wants to expand tourism opportunities and establish other economies so the city is not so dependent on Wall Street.