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Economic Outlook Conference Held in Morgantown

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MORGANTOWN -

Economic growth will continue in Morgantown, but it may continue at a slower pace than it has been recently, that's according to Dr. Paul Speaker of West Virginia University who spoke at Tuesday's Morgantown Economic Outlook Conference.

For many families the past few years have been tumultuous across the country, but job and economic growth have prevailed in Morgantown. Dr. Speaker said while the upward slant is leveling off, it's still good news.

"We've seen this upwards path that's been so dramatic, and it's still an upward path it's just not as dramatic," said Dr. Speaker. "By Morgantown standards it's sluggish, but anywhere else it would be considered tremendous growth."

Speaker attributes planned growth at WVU and growth in local healthcare to having helped propel the local economy during the downturn. He adds that those agencies along with several federal ones like NASA and the FBI are the driving force to North Central West Virginia.

"As long as government is not changing in size, as long as the hospitals continue to grow, as long as the university continues to grow we don't se bad things coming out of that," Speaker said.

Tuesday, hundreds of people visited the Morgantown Economic Outlook Conference at the Waterfront Place Hotel.

Kyle Hess of United Bank said learning about important industries like natural gas is important to making sound financial decisions.

"We're studying industries, in particular oil and gas right now, which is kind of a newer industry," Hess said. "Personally that was what I was most interested in because for me as a young professional there will be lots of opportunities in that in the future."

So at the end of they day what does this all mean for you?

"We expect spending power to continue to grow, we will see more people drawn to the area, we'll see more job opportunities drawn to the area, we'll continue to see projects such as the construction we see all through the town, there's nothing that suggestion that that will diminish anytime soon," Speaker said.