By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 12/03/13, 9:03 PM PST |

Southern California’s economy could return to pre-recession levels earlier than expected, but the region and state still face challenges, economists and other experts say.

That over-arching theme and more detailed information on individual areas will be presented Thursday at the Southern California Association of Governments’ fourth annual Economic Recovery & Job Creation Summit at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel.

The gathering will bring together regional and business leaders, economists and educators who will begin crafting collaborative solutions to the Southland’s economic challenges.

Economist John Husing says the Inland Empire’s economy will likely not return to normal until at least the 2016-17 period previously estimated through SCAG’s forecasting process.

In a report he authored that will be released Thursday, Husing says the key to the region’s recovery will be the continued expansion of its “traditional economic base.”

The sectors that need to grow, he said, include logistics, health care and construction.

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