USM hosts 6th annual Economic Outlook forum

USM hosts 6th annual Economic Outlook forum

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Experts in banking, finance and economic development gathered with Southern Miss faculty and administrators Thursday to discuss regional economic trends during a 6th annual conference at USM.

The Economic Outlook 2016 forum featured presentations from Alabama and Hattiesburg-area economic developers.

And the event included an update on the growth of maritime industries on the Gulf Coast.

"The coastal economy is coming back," said Ashley Edwards, president of the Gulf Coast Business Council. "We've seen very good indicators, our trend lines are all positive now, job growth, growth in our tourism and gaming industries."

"Inviting these people to gather on our campus also impacts faculty, students, projects and just continues the legacy of impact that (the College of Business has) had," said Faye Gilbert, dean of the College of Business.

An executive of the Federal Reserve Bank also spoke at the event and said the nation's economy is projected to grow 2 1/2 percent this year.

The forum was co-sponsored by Southern Miss and The First, a National Banking Association.