For immediate release April 29, 1999
FEDERAL RESERVE PRESIDENT SEES CONTINUED NATIONAL AND REGIONAL GROWTHLafayette, La. — Jack Guynn, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, today told a local group of business and community representatives that “there is no reason in the world why the U.S. economy cannot continue to grow. We have a well-balanced national economy featuring strong growth, low unemployment and low inflation. The presence of these characteristics together is nearly unprecedented.”
Guynn, speaking at an economic forum sponsored by the Atlanta Fed, continued, “This growth reflects a combination of strong consumer spending and robust business spending on technology and capital improvements, which have been hallmarks of the current expansion,” now entering its ninth year. Guynn pointed to good fiscal policies by the U.S. Congress and the president and monetary policies by the Federal Reserve as key factors underlying the U.S. economy’s performance, although he acknowledged that the U.S. economy has also enjoyed some “old-fashioned luck.” As president of the Atlanta Fed, Guynn serves on the Federal Open Market Committee, which influences interest rates.
Speaking on the southeastern economy, Thomas Cunningham, vice president of the Atlanta Fed’s regional research group, said, “Overall, the regional economy has been quite strong. The region has moved its focus from traditional manufacturing, such as apparel, to autos and auto-related industries and products for residential home construction, a sector that has been extremely strong during the current expansion.”
On the local front, Cunningham said that while the economy in the Lafayette area has been hurt by the low price of oil, there has been an uptick in oil and gas drilling activity in the area recently. In discussing the issue of economic diversification in an area that is heavily dependent on one industry, Cunningham continued, “Diversification of a local economy, such as the Lafayette area, which depends on oil and gas, can be difficult because the abundance of a natural resource locally tends to drive other economic resources into that industry.”
The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta serves the Sixth Federal Reserve District, which encompasses Alabama, Florida, Georgia and portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. As part of the nation’s central banking system, the Atlanta Fed participates in setting national monetary policy, supervises numerous commercial banks and provides a variety of financial services to depository institutions and the U.S. government.