What is in store for the Morgantown regional economy in the coming year? Will the improving national economy be felt in the Morgantown Metropolitan Statistical Area?

The 8th annual Morgantown MSA Economic Outlook Conference will be presented by the Bureau of Business and Economic Research in West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics on March 20 at the Waterfront Place Hotel from 8 a.m. to noon.

Forecasts of the coming year’s national and West Virginia/Morgantown regional economic trends will be presented by Andy Bauer, a regional economist at the Baltimore Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, and Dr. George Hammond, associate professor and BBER associate director. Presentations are scheduled to follow the Morgantown MSA economic outlook by Bruce B. McClymonds, president and CEO, West Virginia University Hospitals Jim Truman, Principal Analyst, Wood Mackenzie; and Roberta Baylor, executive director of the Preston County Economic Development Authority.

“While the national economy continues to show improvement, Morgantown has seen economic improvement as well,” said Dr. Tom S. Witt, Associate Dean for Research and Outreach in the WVU College of Business and Economics and BBER director. “The national economy is rebounding, and it’s critical that the business leaders in this region know what the forecast is for the coming year for the Morgantown region.”

Bauer is a regional economist at the Baltimore Branch of the Richmond Fed. He holds a BA degree from American University and a Ph.D. from Emory University. In addition to following the national economic outlook, he monitors the Fifth District economy with a special focus on Maryland and the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. He also regularly speaks on national and regional economic conditions to academic groups, business associations and civic organizations.

Hammond is associate director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research in the WVU College of Business and Economics. During the past 17 years, he has produced numerous forecasts and analyses of the state economy, as well as many of the state’s regional economies. He has provided briefings to the executive and legislative branches of state government and is often quoted in the state’s print and broadcast media.

“The continued growth of the health care industry and changing conditions in the coal industry will play major roles in the future of this region,” said Witt. “This conference is an opportunity for the private and public sectors to learn about the opportunities and challenges facing the Morgantown MSA economy, which includes Preston County.”

The cost of the half-day conference is $40 and includes continental breakfast and all conference presentations and publications. After March 16, the registration fee is $55. Student registration is $20 with a valid student ID. To register for the conference, please visit www.bber.wvu.edu .



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CONTACT: Dr. Tom Witt
(304) 293-7835; tom.witt@mail.wvu.edu