What’s Ahead for U.S., Northwest Economies?

PUYALLUP, Wash. — With the smoke just clearing from the U.S. elections and a plethora of uncertainties in the world, top national and regional economic forecasters will discuss what lies ahead for the economy at the 4th annual Northwest Economic Outlook Symposium in Tacoma.

The symposium will be held Friday, Nov. 19, starting at 9:30 a.m. at the new Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center. The convention center is located at 1551 Broadway in downtown Tacoma. It will be one of the first events to be held in this new facility.

“The timing couldn’t be better for this discussion,” says Gary Smith, Washington State University Extension economist and symposium organizer. “The elections will be just behind us and our speakers will be discussing what the results and other factors will mean for not only our Northwest economy, but the national and international economies as well.”

Highlights of this years’ symposium include:

  • 9:30 a.m. — Michael Donnelly, principal and senior economist for Global Insight Inc., the preeminent national economic forecasting firm, will discuss the economic relationship between the Northwest and the world’s sixth largest economy, California.
  • 11 a.m. — A panel of top economic forecasters from the northwest states will present the economic outlooks for their states and the region. Panelists will include leading Seattle economist Dick Conway; Bret Bertolin, senior economist for the Washington Office of the Forecast Council; and Tom Potiowsky, state economist in the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis.
  • 12:15 p.m. — Rajeev Dhawan, director of economic forecasting, Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University returns to present the national and international economic forecast for 2005. Dhawan is frequently called on by national media because of his reputation for accuracy and for articulating complex economic issues in relevant terms.
  • 2:30 p.m. — Concurrent panel discussions will focus on two key economic sectors. The Northwest Real Estate Panel will examine how long 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 in the coming year, globally, nationally and regionally.

The registration fee for the symposium is $60 before Oct. 29, and $75 after that date. Lunch is included. More information about the event, a complete roster of speakers, and registration information can be found at http://ext.wsu.edu/.

Again this year, business and economics students from fourteen college and university campuses from around the state and Northwest will participate in a concurrent educational program, Economics Beyond the Textbook and Classroom. Speakers and panelists from the symposium will participate in interactive discussions with the students, and students will attend key sessions of the economic symposium.

Among the speakers participating in the student sessions is Gary Zimmerman, economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Zimmerman will conduct a primer on banking systems and monetary policy for teams from five colleges. The exercise will culminate in students participating in a simulated meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on Thursday, Nov. 18.

Sponsors include WSU Extension, Tacoma Water, Providence Services in association with the Pacific Northwest Regional Economic Conference, the Seattle Economists Club and the Olympia Economists Club.

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