Is a recession coming? What is the economic future for West Virginia? Those are some of the questions being asked with the sub prime mortgage market shaking confidence on Wall Street and recent Federal Reserve actions.

To answer these and other questions, West Virginia Universitys Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) will issue its 2007 economic forecast for the state at the 14th annual Economic Outlook Conference 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at Charleston Embassy Suites.

Sponsored by the WVU College of Business and Economics, the conference will feature George Hammond, author of the West Virginia Economic Outlook, who will discuss the forecast for jobs, income, population and the gross state product. David Wyss, chief economist at Standard&Poors and well-known commentator on economic issues, will give the outlook for the U.S. economy.

Hammond, associate director of the BBER , has directed the West Virginia Economic Outlook project for 13 years. He has a doctorate in business economics from Indiana University.

Wyss, a former senior staff economist with the Presidents Council of Economic Advisers, is responsible for Standard&Poors economic forecasts and publications and co-authors the monthlyForecast Summaryand the weeklyFinancial Notes. He has a doctorate in economics from Harvard University.

Panelists representing the states key business and industry sectors will discuss implications of the forecast from their perspectives following the presentations. These panelists include: Karen Price, president, West Virginia Manufacturers Association; Michael Clowser, executive director, Contractors Association of West Virginia; Jeff Herholdt, acting director, West Virginia Division of Energy; and Mark Muchow, deputy cabinet secretary, West Virginia Department of Revenue.

The conference is sponsored by AEP Appalachian Power, The Chambers Endowed Program for Electronic Business, the Charleston Daily Mail, The Charleston Gazette, Chesapeake Energy Corp., Citigroup Global Markets, Crews&Associates Inc., Ferris, Baker Watts, Inc., The State Journal and the West Virginia Department of Revenue.

Registration is $75 per person or $90 after Oct. 26. Students can attend for $30 with valid student ID.

Call 304-293-7884 for more information or