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Economy fairly good, pundits say
Monday, 11 May 2015 16:03

Asheville metro? Red-hot, nearly double U.S. recovery


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Despite the weakest recovery following a recession in more than a century, the United States economy is in pretty good shape, two nationally renowned economists said April 16 at UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium.

David Berson and James Smith also said that, in contrast with the tepid national recovery, the Asheville Metro Statistical Area is experiencing booming growth. Their comments were made to about 300 people during the 31rd annual Economic Crystal Ball Seminar.

As for the night’s featured topic, “The Fed: When Will It Tighten?” Berson said the nation’s money supply will probably be tightened in September. The economists, as usual, spoke on a number of topics.

Berson, senior vice president and chief economist for Nationwide Insurance in Columbus, Ohio, said, “extraordinarily low unemployment claims” demonstrated a strong labor market.He added, “Lots of people still want full-time employment,” noting that the measure showing national underemployment “is still pretty high” — as is the gap between that and the traditionally used unemployment rate. Those numbers, respectively, were 10.9 percent and 5.5 percent for March.

Smith added, “if the rest of the United States looked like Asheville, the (Federal Reserve system) would’ve tightened interest rates eight months ago... However, the rest of the United States doesn’t look like Asheville....”

“We (the Asheville metro) fired the afterburners... I confess I don’t know what’s going on in Asheville” with the city’s rip-roaring economic recovery, Smith asserted. He is chief economist for Asheville-based Parsec Financial Inc., the event’s sponsor.

Republicans urged to pitch in now to get conservatives elected in ‘16
Monday, 11 May 2015 15:59

From Staff Reports


The 2016 election for president and U.S. Congress ranks among the most important in history, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., told about 175 Republicans April 18 at Renaissance Asheville Hotel downtown.

Burr, the keynote speaker at the Buncombe County Republican Party’s annual Lincoln-Reagan Dinner, urged the party faithful to shift — now — into full campaign mode so that conservatives who can take the nation in a new direction will be elected.

Also speaking were U.S. Reps. Patrick McHenry and Mark Meadows; Mike Hager, a Rutherford County Republican and state House majority leader; and Michell Hicks, chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee.

Burr is serving his second term in the Senate and will seek a third term next year. He previously served five terms in the U.S. House and recently became chairman of the Senate Intelligence Commitee.

BCGOP Chairman Nathan West said the event is “a celebration of two of our greatest presidents,” a social event for local Republicans and “one of our larger fundraisers” for the county party.


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