Symposium to forecast 2014 economy

The annual Economic Outlook Symposium will take place Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Thad Cochran Center at The University of Southern Mississippi.

Professionals experienced in banking, finance and economic development will present the economic outlook forecast for 2014.

The Southern Miss College of Business, the Trent Lott National Center and The First Bank of Hattiesburg partnered to host the event. Approximately 250 registered guests are expected to attend, making it the largest of the annual economic forums.

Brady Mitchell, a senior finance major, said he is looking forward to hearing professional opinions to better understand where the economy is now.
“It’s important to know the outlook of the economy because of how it affects you,” Mitchell said. “The economy plays a key role in job outlook, retirement plans and future decisions.”

According to The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment situation, along with the consumer price index, are a few of the major economic indicators this year.

The experts speaking at the event will address these issues along with other local and national issues, according to J. T. Tisdale, director of external relations for the College of Business.

The presenters include: Robert Strand, senior economist for the American Bankers Association; Darren Webb, senior economist for the Mississippi Institutions for Higher Learning; Jack Norris, President of the Gulf Coast Business Council; Chad Newell, president of the Area Development Partnership and Lee Lawson, president and CEO of the Baldwin County Economic Development Alliance.

“They will focus on Jackson, the Gulf Coast, Hattiesburg, the southern region and the nation in its entirety, economically,” Tisdale said. “The level of speakers seem to escalate more and more each year.”

Director at the Trent Lott Center, Shannon Campbell, said it is important to offer professional outreach services such as the forum because of the information it provides.

“The forum highlights important economic issues that impact daily decisions affecting both private and public sector leaders,” she said. “Attendees have the opportunity to learn from subject matter experts about trends affecting our economy.”

While registration for the event is full, Tisdale said information from the discussions may be available online in the upcoming weeks. For more information, contact J.T. Tisdale through the College of Business.