Wednesday, September 20, 2000

What's the Buzz?

Oil prices could cloud forecast

        Yes, it's still technically summer, but it wasn't too early for the economic advisory committee for the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce to deliver its annual economic forecast Tuesday morning. It's budget season in boardrooms all over town, and many chamber members use the forecast in preparing theirs.

        The forecast isn't gloomy: The panel expects slower growth nationally, down to 3.7 percent in 2001 from about 5 percent this year.

        There's one wild card: oil prices, said David Hehman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati. If oil prices continue to rise, the Federal Reserve might drive interest rates yet higher, slowing the economy more than anyone would like.

        “History suggests they (the Fed) tend to overstay their welcome at times,” he said.

        The forecast is available by calling 579-3136. It will also be available soon at, the chamber's site for local facts and figures.

— John J. Byczkowski

        Have a tip about a Tristate company that should be included in our daily Buzz? Call 768-8147 or e-mail


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- What's the Buzz?