CBER sponsors 2016 Economic Outlook Conference (WKYT)

Lexington, Ky. (WKYT) - The 27th annual economic outlook conference took place this morning at the Lexington Convention Center where experts say the forecast for this year is looking good.

"We're looking at the same numbers and we're drawing the same conclusions, which is that fundamentally the economy looks strong," says Chris Bollinger.

Bollinger is the Director for the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Kentucky. Bollinger was one of five guest speakers at the conference. He says Kentucky's 2016 outlook is looking good.

"I'm forecasting with some guarded optimism," says Bollinger. "I think we're going to continue to grow at two percent GDP rate. I think employment growth is going to continue at about two percent, maybe a little better. I think the unemployment rate will stay down around five percent, going forward through the year."

"Our estimate for what January inflation numbers, would be actually negative," says Mark Schweitzer.

Schweitzer is the Senior Vice President for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. He tells us inflation will continue to be low.

"As oil prices stabilize, we'll see inflation move back up to where other prices are changing which is close to two percent," explains Schweitzer. 

As for Lexington, Bollinger says that's always the bright part of his presentation.

"Lexington has an employment base that allows for growth of all kinds of companies because we have a broad variety of well educated workers," explains Bollinger.

Historically, Kentucky's unemployment rate is higher than the national rate. Experts say this suggests that our state is ahead of employment growth in the U.S.

As for people buying homes in Fayette County. That's on the rise as well. Home sales are currently seeing 13 consecutive months of increases. A streak that hasn't happened in ten years.