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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, January 27, 2014, 6:50 am

SSU economist will present forecast Feb. 19

‘Leading indicators are up in all North Bay counties’

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    ROHNERT PARK – Want to know where the North Bay economy is headed for the rest of the year?

    Rob Eyler

    Rob Eyler

    Well, the long economic recovery is gaining momentum and is forecast to continue in 2014, according to a comprehensive analysis to be presented by Robert Eyler, PhD, at the upcoming Sonoma State University Economic Outlook Conference.

    This highly anticipated annual event will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the SSU Student Center ballroom, the largest facility of its kind in the North Bay.

    “Leading indicators are up in all North Bay counties showing that the region as a whole is in full recovery, and the state and national economies are also forecast to grow,” according to Dr. Eyler, professor in the Department of Economics and director of the Center for Regional Economic Analysis at SSU.

    Dr. Eyler will provide a detailed overview of the trends and major factors contributing to the comeback following California State University Chancellor Dr. Timothy P. White’s keynote presentation on the role of education in helping to shape the present and future workforce and how business and the system can forge partnerships.

    The conference will also feature a panel of experts from leading staffing firms, business and educational institutions commenting on the skills that will be need for the “Workforce 2020.”

    The panelists include Ingrid Estrada, vice president at Agilent Technologies and HR vice president at Keysight Technologies, Craig Nelson, board member and corporate secretary at Nelson Family of Companies and Sarah Dove, director of the career center at the Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics.

    “The U.S. economy and GDP rate is growing at a steady pace as well as California’s GDP. At the same time, housing prices are rising, equity markets are setting records and the S&P 500 is now close to its historic high,” Dr. Eyler said. “These trends are increasing investor confidence and, as yet, there are no signs of severe inflation.”

    “Retail sales are rising along with American imports. All of these positive indicators and many others point to 2014 as a year of real, ongoing economic growth.”

    He did caution that consumers should expect to see prices rise slowly in the year ahead edging up the overall cost of living in the state along with a slow rise in interest rates. 

    The prospects for a continuing and unprecedented severe drought could cause an increase in agricultural prices due to reduced supplies.  However, if the rains come it will be another year of strong recovery for the region.

    Overall, the outlook is also good for the North Bay when it comes to increasing employment opportunities.

    The SSU Economic Outlook Conference is being presented by the North Bay Business Journal and co-hosted by Sonoma State University and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

    Seating is limited, so those planning to attend should register as soon as possible by calling 707-521-5264. Registration online closes Monday, Feb. 17. The cost is $65 per person, and the price includes a subscription to the North Bay Business Journal for new subscribers only. For sponsoring and advertising information, call 707-521-5270. 

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