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KNOXVILLE – The Tennessee economy continues to experience the after-effects of the September 11 terrorism in New York City.

A University of Tennessee economist says the tourism industry in particular has been hit, but other elements of the state economy were already hurting.

“The economy continues to suffer from the lasting impacts of September 11,” said Dr. Matt Murray, “but there are also broader effects that go back to the slowdown of the economy perhaps as far back as a year ago.”

Murray says by September, downward economic trends were already visible.

“September 11th really put the icing on the cake, in terms of insuring that the economy was in a full-blown recession, and I think we still suffer from the effects,” Murray said.

“But we are seeing some early signs that we may be at a turning point, at least on the national level, to see some upward progress in the economy in the early part of 2002.”

Tennessee state officials estimate a budget shortrfall of up to $500 million by the end of the fiscal year in June 2002.