ST. CLOUD -- A local economist says we're starting the year on the road to economic recovery, but full recovery is still years -- not months -- away.

St. Cloud State University Economist Orn Bodvarsson says the slow recovery could hit a bump in the road, if projections of $3.75 gas prices come true this spring.

Bodvarsson says some recent good news include local retailers reporting strong Christmas sales, and the auto industry is selling cars again.  However, a couple areas of concern remain the sluggish housing market, and the remaining high unemployment rate.