Spotlight on 2004 NW Economic Outlook

PUYALLUP, Wash. — Will the Northwest economy remain stuck in neutral, or will it rebound in 2004?

Gary Smith, Washington State University extension economist, said the Northwest’s leading economic forecasters will convene to discuss their state and regional forecasts for 2004.

They will be participating in the third annual Northwest Outlook Symposium, which will be held Friday, Nov. 7, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Best Western Fife Hotel and Conference Center, 5700 Pacific Highway East.

The panel will hone in on the outlook for the Northwest and the Puget Sound economy. “It will explore whether the Northwest economy will remain stuck in neutral, or whether it may rebound in 2004,” Smith said.

Presenting the latest global and national economic outlook for the coming year will be luncheon speaker Rajeev Dhawan, director of economic forecasting, Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University. “Dhawan is frequently called on by national media because of his reputation for articulating complex economic issues in very relevant terms,” Smith said. “He has been ranked as one of the most accurate forecasters in the nation by ‘Bank One Economic Outlook Center’ at Arizona State University.”

The symposium will also feature two outlook panels that will focus on two key economic sectors. The Northwest Real Estate Panel will examine whether the residential real estate market can continue to bolster the regional economy, and discuss prospects for recovery in the commercial sector. The Northwest Securities Panel will examine where security markets are headed — globally, nationally and regionally.

The symposium is sponsored by Washington State University – Puyallup and Russell Investment Group, in association with the Olympia Economics Club, Seattle Economists Club and the Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Conference.

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