Monday, January 15, 2001

Economist: N.Ky. growth slipping

Meeting to unveil forecast

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT MITCHELL — Northern Kentucky's long-booming economy, like the national economy, is slowing.

        That's the message Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce staff economist Tom Zinn will deliver Tuesday during the chamber's annual economic forecast.

        The forecast, at a breakfast meeting at the Four Seasons Country Club in Crestview Hills, will also feature a speech by Martin Regalia, chief economist for the United States Chamber of Commerce.

        Both Mr. Zinn and Mr. Regalia will discuss a regional and national economy that has definitely hit the brakes.

        “This is not a soft landing anymore,” Mr. Regalia said in the Jan. 8 edition of Time magazine. “There are going to be a few motion-sickness bags in the aisle before we're done.”

        Mr. Regalia also serves as vice president for economic and tax policy at the U.S. chamber and has worked as an analyst in the Congressional Budget Office.

        “We're still growing in Northern Kentucky,” said Mr. Zinn, an economics professor at the University of Cincinnati. “But our growth rate has slowed.”

        Mr. Zinn said that as the region has grown over the years, Northern Kentucky's economy has become more closely aligned with business activity nationally.

        “Because of that it's logical to conclude that the national slowdown will impact the local economy,” he said.

        For the first time in years, Mr. Zinn said, Cincinnati's economy last year grew at a faster rate than Northern Kentucky's.

        During 2000, Cincinnati's “gross regional product,” defined as the total value of all goods and services produced, grew by 6.2 percent compared to Northern Kentucky's 5.7 percent.

        “Northern Kentucky is still very healthy economically,” Mr. Zinn said. “But it's an anomaly that Cincinnati grew faster last year. That's the first time that has happened in recent history.”

        Northern Kentucky experienced drops in manufacturing and retail sales during 2000, he said.

        The breakfast will be 7:15-8:45 a.m. For information, tickets or reservations, contact the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, (859) 578-8800.


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