The Economic Summit held at the University of Akron on March 22 featured three brilliant economic minds discussing the current state of the economy. Despite continued weak housing values and household income, the three panelists were in firm agreement that the economy is improving. Sandy Pianalto, the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, expects the economy to “expand at a moderate pace,” while growing slightly faster than the 3% gross domestic product growth rate.
Dennis Gartman, a well-known financial commentator and publisher of The Gartman Letter, notices the changes in the economy already. “Salesmen are moving, they are in cabs, they’re moving around, things are changing…Airlines are crowded. The economy is, in fact, getting better.” Gartman credited his claims to cab drivers, noting that these drivers become aware of the changes taking place firsthand.
Gary Thayer, a strategist with Wells Fargo Advisors was the third panelist; he offered a more traditional assessment, saying, "The economy is more resilient now and better able to withstand" recent events in Japan and the Middle East. Thayer also noted that corporate profits have risen, and he expects "about a 3 percent growth ... a little bit, I think, less than what the Federal Reserve is talking about."
All three panelists, who are graduates of The University of Akron, expect the economy to grow despite weak housing numbers and the constant amount of bank-owned property, and believe the economy is beginning to show moderate signs of recovery.