HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A conference at Southern Miss Thursday focused on the economic outlook for this region. Impact Southern Miss: Turning Knowlege into Innovation brought together local business leaders and economists to discuss how national trends will affect business and industry in South Mississippi.
Business developers from Hattiesburg and the Gulf Coast offered their insights. The keynote speaker was a regional executive with the Federal Reserve.
"South Mississippi compares very favorably with the rest of the country," said Hoppy Cole, president and CEO for The First, A National Banking Associaton. "I think the common theme is that things are getting better and in fact, our growth rates kind of mirror some of the better markets in the country," Cole said.
"It is a very positive increase that we're seeing in the state and in particular, the Southeastern United States, so that's a good thing for us," said Dr. Joe Peyrefitte, interim dean of the College of Business at Southern Miss. "A lot of good plans are coming into gear and working for us," he said.
The Federal Reserve predicts annual growth of 2 percent through 2015.