Local News

Experts predict Triangle will lead way out of recession

Posted January 7, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

— When the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce hosted an economic forecast discussion Wednesday morning, the predictions were largely positive.

William K. Atkinson II, chairman of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and president and chief executive of WakeMed, predicted the Triangle would be one of the first areas in the state and nation to recover from the recession.

Predictions positive for Triangle recession recovery Predictions positive for Triangle recession recovery

"I think the Triangle economy has an edge over many parts of the world," he said. "It has the strength of great education, community colleges and a young, bright population that is growing in this market."

The event, held at the Progress Energy Center, featured John Silvia, chief economist with Wachovia Bank, and Matthew Martin, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Web only: Raleigh chamber forecasts 2009 economy Web only: Raleigh chamber forecasts 2009 economy

Silvia cited the higher education and health care industries as engines for the local economy as the population continues to grow.

"Over time, they will spend more money on health care, more money on education, and that will benefit this region," Silvia said.

Population growth has slowed, but is still stronger in North Carolina than most other parts of the country.

Atkinson acknowledged the tough economic times, but his forecast was upbeat.

"2008 was tough, especially at the end of the year," he said. "Everyone's ready to dig in and find positive solutions and turn it around fairly quickly."

The economists at Wednesday's forum and two others at a Monday event on the state and national economies all said the turnaround would be gradual, not quick.

Martin Regalia, chief economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said Monday that economic improvement could take most of the year and predicted that job losses would continue to mount into 2010.

Manpower President Jeff Stocks said he's prepared to wait out the downturn.

"We have to be patient," Stocks said. "The key word will be confidence. We already see that confidence was stronger the beginning of this year versus the end of last year."


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  • woodrowboyd2 Jan 7, 2009

    when they say the word EXPERT it should scare the hell out of us all

  • MarcoPolo Jan 7, 2009

    Ya'll need not worry about it. Remember Barry's economic plan written by those folks who profited/paid themselves during the financial bailout. He had the plan on his website.....where is it now......surely all his voters read it and can recite the major points.

  • MarcoPolo Jan 7, 2009

    Please correct me if this is incorrect but isn't it Atkinson's job to come out and say everything is rosey? He is working for the chamber of commerce for goodness sake. What's he going to say, don't do business in Raleigh. Things are terrible right now and your taxes and fees will just go up, up and away with this Raleigh clown council. BTW, don't worry about the city parking fees, the metermaids don't get around much.

    Also, isn't he essentially paid or funded by city/county government (specifically Raleigh)?

    If so, what's the point of this article? And yes, we must all then be a little stupey.

  • Boot-the-DC-Tyrant Jan 7, 2009

    In other words, we're doomed!

  • deannaandgrace Jan 7, 2009

    Justin T. Well said!!

  • OLD PIRATE 2 Jan 7, 2009

    Wake up folks! with all the tax dollars wasted in Raleigh "for our benefit" there is little wonder they are resession proof.
    How many work for the state government? (or are on the roll)

  • whatelseisnew Jan 7, 2009

    I wonder how upbeat he will be after the many thousands get laid off in RTP - Soon now.

  • veyor Jan 7, 2009

    It's pretty easy to feel good if somebody has given you billions of dollars. I wish they would start lending it so we could get out of this mess. You mess with housing, you mess up.

  • George Costanza Jan 7, 2009

    funny.... I thought it was the "Almighty Obama" which would lead us out of a recession

  • odell Jan 7, 2009

    ....and the reason we're supposed to trust the opinion of a leader from Wachovia is........?