Experts weigh in on AL's economic growth - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Experts weigh in on AL's economic growth

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

It's a question many are asking following the great recession -- what will our economy look like in the coming years?

Tuesday many local business leaders found out what experts are saying, including how Alabama is faring as well.

Surrounded by great economic minds, Montgomery business men and women learned what to expect in the coming year.

"We're moving in the right direction. 2014 will be better than 2013," Mark Vitner said.

Kathleen Hays from Bloomberg Radio, Senior Economist for Wells Fargo Mark Vitner and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Dennis LockHart spoke at the AUM Business Forum.

They say the state of Alabama positioned itself well during the Economic downturn and there's one main reason -- the automobile industry.

"It accounted for a very large proportion of the state's economic growth this past year," Vitner said.

According to Mike Randle, Founder of Birmingham Business Journal, it's probably the largest manufacturing wave to hit the south since World War II and Montgomery's a part of it.

While each speaker did admit the economy is growing, there are still big concerns about the high rate of unemployment.

"Long term unemployment is at historically high levels and the number of people working part time while looking for full time work remains elevated," LockHart said.

Economists say the nation's modest growth is good but fear it won't be enough to stimulate substantial job growth.

Economists believe the state will continue to land large manufacturers over the next few years.

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