The president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond will speak at West Virginia University statewide economic forecast event on October 4 in Charleston. Jeffrey Lacker will appear at the 23rd Annual West Virginia Economic Outlook Conference at Charleston Embassy Suites.

Lacker will present the U.S. economic forecast to the hundreds of business leaders and policymakers who attend the event. The annual conference is hosted by the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER), housed in the College of Business and Economics. The half-day event begins at 7:30 a.m. with continental breakfast, followed by introductory remarks by WVU President E. Gordon Gee.

The past year has been one filled with the continued spiral of extractive industries in West Virginia, an economic condition that resulted in a recession, unprecedented challenges for policymakers and business leaders, and a serious look to the state’s future. On the cusp of a bruising year for West Virginia, there is a great deal of interest in the economic outlook for the state and a look to possible developing industries for the economy.

This event will deliver a statewide forecast and analysis of the economy, followed by four regional events throughout West Virginia.

“The Bureau of Business and Economic Research at WVU has been the source of economic expertise for decades, and our presentation of this series of events demonstrates our important role of thought leadership,” said Dr. John Deskins, BBER director. “The state is at an interesting juncture, and our economic forecasting and analysis is critical to the next steps outlined by West Virginia. We look forward to providing this information at this and all of our economic outlook conferences across the state, so that business leaders, policymakers and all West Virginia residents will have access to the information they need going forward.”

The event presents an opportunity to discuss primary indicators of the economy, such as employment, unemployment, population and real per capita personal income, and to discuss potential solutions.

“The economic history of the past year in West Virginia has been very sobering, and even included a recession,” Deskins said. “Stakeholders in our state have a lot of questions about where our economy is headed, and they want hard data and rigorous and unbiased economic analysis.”

The BBER also produces the Mountain State Business Index, which provides a monthly snapshot of West Virginia’s economy based upon seven important economic factors. The index indicated a recession earlier this year, with economic indicators related to the state’s extractive industries weighing heavily on the overall index.

“I believe West Virginia is at a crossroads and we must look to other sectors to boost our sagging economy,” Deskins said. “The time in which the roles of alternative industries will play a major part has passed, and the urgency of planning for the future is here.”

The Economic Outlook Conference in Charleston is the first of five such events scheduled by the BBER across West Virginia. Regional economic outlook conferences have been scheduled for October 18 in Morgantown, November 15 in Martinsburg, November 17 in Beckley, and May 2 in Wheeling.

The October 4 event will include Lacker’s U.S. economic outlook, followed by the West Virginia Economic Outlook presented by Deskins. The final portion of the program will feature a panel discussion on “Remaining Competitive in a Rapidly Transforming World.” A presentation will be made by Ted Abernathy, managing partner, Economic Leadership LLC, followed by a panel discussion. Panelists will include Millie Marshal, president, Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia, Inc.; Tim Byrd, Plant Manager, Chemours Belle Works; and Steve Hedrick, president and CEO, Mid-Atlantic Technology Research and Innovation Center (MATRIC).

To register for the Economic Outlook Conference, go to For further information on the WVU College of Business and Economics, follow B&E on Twitter at @wvucobe or visit



CONTACT: Patrick Gregg, WVU College of Business and Economics

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