Archive for Thursday, May 7, 1998

ECONOMIST: STATE ECONOMY BRIGHT

May 7, 1998

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— Kansas' economic outlook remains strong for the rest of 1998, although trouble in Asia is expected to dampen the state's growth.

Still, the outlook remains good, said Mark Drabenstott, vice president and senior economist of the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City.

Job growth, which rose 3.9 percent in the past year, has grown faster than the rest of the country, he said, although the labor market remains tight. A diversified economy means that growth is coming from a variety of sources.

``That's why I think the good news will continue,'' Drabenstott said.

Drabenstott and Craig Hakkio, senior vice president and director of research of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, spoke Wednesday at Washburn University. The Federal Reserve Bank has sponsored similar forums in six other Kansas towns.

A new tide of trade in the exports market has been key to the long run of economic growth experienced by Kansas as well as the region, Drabenstott said. And exports are the key to the future as well, he said.

Many companies have made substantial investments in their employees and in their plants during the decade, and that is paying dividends in increased productivity and has kept Kansas products competitive in worldwide markets, he said.

Kansas manufactured exports, for example, have risen more than 150 percent.

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