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D.C. PAPER SPOTLIGHTS STRONG UTAH ECONOMY

The favorable national publicity about Utah continues to roll in.

The latest is an article from the Washington Post by Hobart Rowen titled "Utah, Where Recession is Just a Word."Rowen starts his article by saying he talked to a taxi driver, Mike Moghimi, who also is president of Omni Mortgage & Investment of Salt Lake City. Thinking that the Utah economy is so bad that Moghimi lost his company and had to drive a taxi to pay the bills.

Moghimi was quoted as saying he drives a taxi at night just to have something to do. His business is enjoying a boom in refinancing of mortgages induced by low interest rates.

"It's refreshing, in the midst of recession and a downbeat mood elsewhere, to find a thriving community with plenty of confidence in itself and in the future," Rowen wrote.

He writes of Salt Lake City's low crime and high literacy rates and the benefits of a state government surplus of $39 million, the fourth consecutive surplus.

A key element in the economy is rapid population growth "that creates a seemingly inexhaustible supply of labor. Yet the unemployment rate at the end of 1991 was only 5.2 percent, about two full points below the national average."

On the downside, Rowen said further cutbacks in defense will hurt several defense contractors. He said that even though Utah is a Republican state, several people he talked to say they are dissatisfied with President Bush's domestic policies and his failure to control the massive federal deficit.