TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Economists from The University of Alabama will detail their expectations for the state’s economy and workforce during the 29th annual Alabama Economic Outlook Conference, Thursday, Jan. 12, in Montgomery.
Representatives from UA, its Culverhouse College of Commerce and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta will discuss both state and federal economies beginning at 9 a.m. at the convention center of the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel & Spa. Conference check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. The cost to attend is $150 and includes lunch and a printed copy of the 2017 Alabama Economic Outlook. Media are invited to attend free of charge.
UA’s Center for Business and Economic Research has produced forecasts of economic activity in Alabama since 1980. These forecasts cover Alabama Gross Domestic Product, employment, and income by industry group and are published in the annual Alabama Economic Outlook. Forecast updates are run quarterly.
The center incorporates data from the last 30 years, including cycles and recoveries captured over the years, into its statistical and economic models. Ahmad Ijaz, executive director of CBER and director of economic forecasting, who will deliver and discuss the Alabama Outlook at the event, said he anticipates the state’s economy will grow at a slightly higher pace in 2017.
“We think the economy will grow this year by about 1.9 percent compared to 1.2 percent in 2016,” Ijaz said. “The state’s economy averaged about 25,000 jobs in 2016, and we expect to add about 20,000 to 25,000 this year. Additionally, we anticipate tax revenues to grow by about 2 percent, compared to 1.2 percent last fiscal year.”
The forecast shows a dip in anticipated job growth over the last two years. In 2015, the center forecast as many as 35,000 jobs to be added to the state’s economy. A slowing manufacturing sector and higher value of the U.S. dollar were factors in the decline, Ijaz said.
“Slower growth in emerging markets, like Germany, Mexico and England, contributed as well,” Ijaz said.
Dr. Samuel Addy, associate dean for Economic Development Outreach at Culverhouse, will deliver the luncheon address. David Altig, executive vice president and director of research for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, will present “The Economy: View from the Fed” at 9:10 a.m. Dr. Kay Palan, dean of Culverhouse, will deliver the welcome address at 9 a.m. The conference will end at 1:30 p.m.
Conference sponsors are the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, the Alabama International Trade Center, Alabama SBDC Network, BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, Servis1st Bank and Southern Research.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.