Conference Speakers Assess Kentucky Economic Climate

Feb 5, 2013

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Gauging the economic outlook for Kentucky was the subject of a conference in downtown Lexington Tuesday. The meeting brought together economists, mayors from Lexington and Louisville, and a representative from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

24th Annual Economic Outlook Conference 2013
24th Annual Economic Outlook Conference 2013
Credit Josh James / WUKY

Reading the economic tea leaves can be tricky business, but speakers at Tuesday’s conference say they expect slow but steady growth to continue, both nationally and locally, for the foreseeable future.

Dr. Ken Troske with UK’s Gatton College of Business and Economics told the crowd that, despite reaching levels of pre-recession growth, the country isn’t likely to see the period of fast-paced improvement that tends to accompany recoveries. Troske says that’s likely due to continued uncertainty about tax rates and concerns about the national deficit.

Mayor Jim Gray echoed other presenters’ caveats about the recovery in Lexington.  

"Our unemployment today is 6 percent. It was at a high of 9.7 percent at the top of the recession, 6 percent today. But 6 percent is not good enough. At our best Lexington was at 3 percent unemployment, so we've still got work to do," Gray said.

The conference also featured remarks by the executive vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, who spoke on the effect of monetary policy on the economy.