A Light Up Ahead

Ohio Wesleyan’s annual Economic Outlook Conference predicts brighter days

OWU assistant professor of economics Goran Skosples (left) discusses international, national, and local economies with experts Nader Nazmi, Mark E. Schweitzer, and George Mokrzan during the annual Economic Outlook Conference. (Photo by John Holliger)

During the recent economic downturn, economists, along with most other Americans, have been looking for answers about future stability.

Ohio Wesleyan University’s 2011 Economic Outlook Conference, held on campus November 8, provided a better understanding of the future, no crystal ball needed. Goran Skosples, Ph.D., OWU assistant professor of economics, hosted the panel of three expert economists.

“The conference sheds light on the performance of the economy in the next 12 to 18 months,” Skosples said. “It specifically tries to address the state of local, national, and global economies.”

After the panelists shared their insights, they went toe-to-toe, asking each other questions and arguing their beliefs about this fragile economy.

The international economist was Nader Nazmi, Ph.D., deputy director of the Latin America Department at the Institute of International Finance. Nazmi’s message separated the world economy into two sections: mature markets such as the United States and emerging markets such as Latin America.

“It’s a tale of two markets,” Nazmi said. “We need sustainable growth in mature markets to have emerging markets continue to grow.”

Mark E. Schweitzer, Ph.D., focused on the United States. Schweitzer, senior vice president and director of research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, opened his lecture by stating that the Federal Reserve would be releasing its outlook in coming weeks. He concentrated his remarks on how the United States has progressed since the economic downturn.

George Mokrzan, Ph.D., was the Ohio expert. Vice President and Senior Economist at Huntington Bank in Columbus, Ohio, Mokrzan spoke of Columbus beginning to bounce back, stating that he does see a light at the end of the tunnel.

“Ohio’s largest three markets are rebounding,” Mokrzan said.

The overall message of the conference was positive, indicating that an economic rebound is coming slowly.

“Panelists did not see us sliding back into a recession, but predicted a slow recovery,” moderator Skosples said. “This was not a typical recession where recovery is swift and unemployment returns to the pre-recession level fast.”

Ohio Wesleyan’s annual Economic Outlook Conference is co-sponsored by OWU’s Department of Economics and by the Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship. Watch video of the panel discussion at Stream OWU.

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