Annual report delivered at business conference in Lexington
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 5, 2013) — An encouraging forecast for Kentucky’s 2013 economy was released today from the University of Kentucky Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER), located in UK’s Gatton College of Business and Economics.
The forecast, part of CBER’s 41st Annual Economic Report, predicts the Kentucky economy will outpace the U.S. economy — with Central Kentucky experiencing faster growth and lower unemployment than the rest of the state.
Co-authors of the 2013 economic forecast — Chris Bollinger, CBER director and Gatton Endowed Professor of Economics, and Ken Troske, Sturgill Endowed Professor of Economics as well senior associate dean for administration, faculty and research for the Gatton College — share a “guarded optimism” about the national, regional and state economic prospects this year.
Kentucky fared somewhat better through the recent recession than many parts of the U.S., the report said. Manufacturing was hit hard throughout the U.S. and Kentucky and Central Kentucky in particular were impacted by this.
“As we reported last year, Kentucky seems to be recovering faster than the U.S. as a whole, and this year appears no different,” the report said. “Employment is rising, generally across all sectors and the unemployment rate in Kentucky, once markedly higher than the nation, has fallen more rapidly and is poised to fall below the national rate.”
The Annual Economic Report is one of the many ways CBER, the applied economic research branch of the Gatton College, fulfills its mandated mission as specified in the Kentucky Revised Statutes to examine various aspects of the Kentucky economy. CBER performs research projects for federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as for private-sector clients nationwide.
“The rich body of data and analysis presented in the CBER Annual Report presents policymakers and citizens alike with knowledge they can use to improve the quality of life of Kentuckians and become better informed on economic issues,” said David Blackwell, dean of Gatton College.
Because the report covers a variety of issues ranging from an economic forecast for Kentucky in 2013 to a comprehensive presentation of economic, education, health, environmental, energy, community, public finance and demographic factors affecting Kentucky’s future economic prosperity, Bollinger believes “the annual report will appeal to a broad spectrum of individuals — from business leaders to concerned citizens.”
In addition to the economic forecast, the report examines 83 trends, forces and factors affecting the Kentucky economy. This includes, but is not limited to, data and information about how Kentucky high school students perform on advanced placement exams compared to students in other states; whether there are more people at risk for chronic disease in Kentucky compared to the U.S. and neighboring states; how the income distribution has changed over the last three decades in Kentucky compared to the U.S.; the level of entrepreneurial activity in Kentucky compared to other states; and detailed information about factors affecting state taxes and revenue — which affects, of course, the provision of public services from health care to public safety to education.
The breadth of the annual report reflects the diversity of the collaborators who worked with CBER to produce it — including the Innovation Network for Entrepreneurial Thinking or iNET, which is organized and staffed by the College of Communication and Information, the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, and the Center for Poverty Research, which is part of the Gatton College of Business and Economics.
“We have produced an annual report that paints a diverse and complicated picture of our state’s economy, its communities, and its citizens,” Bollinger said. “Despite the constant change confronting us, there are timeless and enduring lessons. Pursuing educational excellence as well as economic innovation — since ideas, innovation and intellectual capital form the foundation of the knowledge economy — is essential for Kentucky to improve its per capita income and achieve broad prosperity.”