Economists and financial experts will cross their fingers and take a deep breath as they offer their opinions and insights for 2009 at the University of Southern Mississippi’s second Economic Outlook Conference.
Hosted by the College of Business’ Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) and sponsored by The First, a National Banking Association, the conference is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 15 at the Thad Cochran Center on the university’s Hattiesburg campus.
Dr. William Gunther, professor of economics and director of the BBER, said, “These are highly volatile times in the economy, and we will provide some insight into the nature of this volatility and where the economy is likely to be in 2009.”
In addition to predictions for south Mississippi, speakers will offer forecasts for the country and the state during the event.
Gunther scheduled presentations include “The U.S. Recession: How Long, How Deep, How Wide?” and “The Mississippi Economy: Fiscal and Employment Prospects.”
Dr. Lance Nail, professor of finance and dean of the College of Business, will provide an update on the world financial crisis, and Dr. Edward Ranck, associate director of the BBER, will present “South Mississippi Beyond Katrina.”
David Johnson, chairman of the Board and CEO of The First, will introduce the luncheon keynote speaker Dennis P. Lockhart, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Lockhart will address the state of the U.S. economy.
According to Gunther, access to data on the region’s economy is critical to area business and government leaders, and the BBER is designed to provide that access to leaders and residents of South Mississippi and the state.
In addition to offering an annual forecast conference and a mid-year assessment conference for South Mississippi and the Gulf Coast, the Bureau has launched an interactive Web site to provide complete economic data for all counties in Mississippi. Free and available for public use, the site allows business leaders to easily create customized reports, including graphic trends analysis of local economic indicators and analyses of local employment growth.
The January conference is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and continues until 1:30. A $45 conference registration fee includes continental breakfast, lunch and a copy of The Economic Outlook for Mississippi 2009. For more information or to register for the event, call 601.266.5854 or e-mail
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.