Lt. Governor, professor to unveil economic forecast

A decrease in the unemployment rate and an increase in income is just what Indiana residents hope to hear during a Ball State professor's report.

During the 15th-annual Indiana Economic Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today at the Horizon Convention Center, Michael Hicks, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research and associate professor of economics, will reveal his 2011 economic forecast for Indiana.

"I predict unemployment to decline from 9.9 percent to 8.7 percent by the end of next year," Hicks said.

He also predicts income to rise by almost 5 percent based on the additional people employed.

Hicks came to his conclusion after seeing a forecast model of the U.S. economy from a Yale professor.

"I combined that forecast model with the one I've written for Indiana that estimates what's going to happen with changes with the economy," he said.

Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman is the keynote speaker for the event. She will discuss Indiana's economy and 2011 legislative priorities.

"She will talk about the state's successes and how we have seen some improvement in the economic picture over the last year," said Jay Kenworthy, communications director for Skillman.

The legislation Skillman will discuss includes passing a budget without a tax increase, education reform for K-12 schools and other miscellaneous items, Kenworthy said.


Steve Smith, chairman of Ball State Business Roundtable, will discuss the size of the federal deficit.


Hicks expects business leaders in East Central Indiana, government officials, economic developers and members of Ball State to attend the event.


The program itself has grown, with approximately 330 attendees compared to last year's 280 participants.


People were required to register by Dec. 1.


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