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West Virginia University to deliver its annual Economic Outlook presentation to lawmakers Jan. 8

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Members of the West Virginia Legislature will have the opportunity to get an up-close look at the statewide economic forecast for the coming year as West Virginia University makes its annual Economic Outlook presentation to lawmakers from both houses Jan. 8.

The report is compiled by WVU's Bureau of Business and Economic Research, housed in the College of Business and Economics. John Deskins, BBER director, will make the presentation to members of the West Virginia Senate and West Virginia House of Delegates at 9:30 a.m. in the House Chambers.

"Gaining a rich and detailed understanding of where our state's economy is and where it is likely heading given the status quo is necessary for lawmakers in order to make the best decisions possible," Deskins said.

Deskins said that four of the primary indicators of the economy include population, employment, the unemployment rate and real per capita personal income. "This Economic Outlook will provide comprehensive information about many aspects of the economy. In the end, these four components are good indicators of what we can expect for the coming year," Deskins said.

The BBER provides economic forecasts at several events during the course of the year. In 2013, the Bureau held economic outlook conferences in Charleston, Martinsburg, Morgantown and Wheeling.

Deskins' research has focused on U.S. state economic development, small business economics and government tax and expenditure policy, primarily at the U.S. state level. His recent research topics have examined the relationship between state tax policy and entrepreneurial activity, the role of education spending in state economic growth, the extent to which tax planning activity has eroded state tax bases and the degree to which small businesses can enhance state economic growth.

"Our goal is to paint the most complete picture possible of West Virginia's economic landscape for state lawmakers on Jan. 8," said Deskins, who took over leadership of the BBER earlier this year. "There are a lot of topics germane to the state economy that have been on everyone's mind such as job growth, which industries are growing and which ones are not, the employment picture and West Virginia exports and population growth, to mention a few. The Bureau will provide information on these topics so that the appropriate discussion and action can take place for the benefit of all of the state's citizens."