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Cautious optimism seen in Kern's economic outlook

Observers of Kern County's economy say the gathering clouds of inflation and rising interest rates may combine to slow local business activity in the quarters ahead but that there's still no telling how severe the impact might ultimately be.

Some say the area may be better prepared now to weather a possible recession than it was during the last one in 2007-09. There's concern, though, that some local businesses are heavily exposed to two growing factors: debt-reliant business operations and habitual consumer purchases on credit.