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The European economic crisis, the overbuilt US housing market, and the (underestimated) escalation of commodities prices all played a part in making 2011 a market forecaster?s nightmare. (We'd wake in cold sweats, too.)
Richmond?s Federal Reserve chief Jeffrey Lacker speaks at the Charlotte Chamber's 10 Annual Economic Outlook Conference

Richmond Federal Reserve chief Jeffrey Lacker spoke to 600 at the Charlotte Chamber's 10th Annual Economic Outlook Conference at the Charlotte Convention Center this week. (Jeff's district includes NC.) This past year saw relatively  persistent impediments  to US economic expansion. While the pace of growth has rebounded since the first half of the year, most analysts are still only expecting GDP growth to average about 2.5% by year's end, he says. The "murky federal budget outlook" also imposes significant uncertainties for consumers and businesses. (There were also uncertainties at the event; security was extremely tight amid rumors that someone had threatened the hall, though it didn't appear to stop anyone from enjoying the rib eyes and taters.)

Reznick Intext CHAR
More than 600 attended the luncheon at the 10th Annual Charlotte Economic Outlook Conference held at the Charlotte Convention Center
The panel, moderated by Charlotte CRE icon  Henry Faison of Faison Associates, included luminaries from the local banking, manufacturing, and energy fields: Wells Fargo?s David Carroll, Nucor Corp?s Dan DiMicco, SPX?s Christopher Kearney, Duke Energy?s Jim Rogers, and BofA's CEO Brian Moynihan. Brian told attendees that it's incumbent on today's employers to create an environment that will stimulate job growth. Focus their energies on moving forward ?and not be divisive." The coming year is all about jobs and channeling constructive energy to solve problems, he adds.