The state of the local economy and the causes and consequences of the global economic crisis will be discussed at the Morgantown Economic Outlook Conference from 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 16, at the Waterfront Place Hotel. The event is presented by the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics .

Although the Morgantown area had the nations lowest unemployment rate in December, the global recession is deepening, which will have a negative impact on state and local economic growth, say WVU experts.

Presentations at the conference will analyze the prospects for growth during the year and chances of a rebound in 2010. Economists will examine the national economic slowdown and what it means for job, population and income levels in the Morgantown metropolitan area, which includes Monongalia and Preston counties.

The conference will feature George Hammond , associate director of WVU s Bureau of Business and Economic Research , and Nigel Gault of HIS Global Insight, a national economic forecasting firm. Economic forecasts and analysis of the Morgantown Metropolitan Statistical Area for the next five years will be available.

Before joining Global Insight in 2003, Gault worked for six years as a senior global economist at Decision Economics Inc., providing international clients in financial markets with analysis of the major industrial economies. He received a doctorate in economics from Harvard University and a masters degree in economics from Cambridge University.

During the past 15 years, Hammond has produced numerous forecasts and analyses of the state economy and regional economies. He is an associate professor in the College of Business and Economics and teaches in the executive MBA program. He holds a bachelors degree from the University of Colorado and a doctorate in business economics from Indiana University.

Another highlight of the conference is a panel discussion with local business and government leaders.

The event is supported by Chesapeake Energy Corp., BIZ Magazine, The Dominion Post, WBOY -TV, The Chambers Endowed Program for Electronic Business, Morgantown Area Economic Partnership, The State Journal and the West Virginia Department of Revenue.

Registration is $40 per person ($55 after April 13). Students are $20 with ID. To register, visit or call 304-293-7831.