Round-table discussion offers mixed economic forecast for state

In early January, Campbell’s Lundy-Fetterman School of Business partnered with Business North Carolina to prognosticate about the state’s economy in the coming year. Part of the Business School’s year-long 40th anniversary celebration of its MBA program, the format was an economic round-table of eight distinguished business leaders.

Held at Campbell’s School of Law in downtown Raleigh, the round-table drew 150 registrants eager to gain insights into the economy from varied perspectives, including the worlds of banking, economics, real estate and economic development. The panelists were:

  • Chris Chung, president & CEO, Economic Development Partnership of NC
  • Scott Daugherty, state director, Small Business and Technology Development Center
  • Asa Fleming, president, NC REALTORS®
  • Ravila Gupta, president & CEO, Council for Entrepreneurial Development
  • Phillip Neuhart, manager of institutional portfolio strategy, First Citizens Bank
  • Kimberly J. Ripberger, partner, CPA, Bernard Robinson & Company
  • Scott Saylor, president, North Carolina Railroad Company
  • Mark Steckbeck, associate professor of economics, Lundy-Fetterman School of Business

Business North Carolina Publisher Ben Kinney noted, “It’s a neat format that offers quite a bit of diversity because of the various industries covered, as opposed to one single source like so many other forecasts this time of year.”

Some of the stand-out panel takeaways:

  • “Things are looking good in major metro areas, but not as good in rural areas. … There is still a rural-urban divide. Most of the job growth is in metro areas. … Utilities is the fastest growing job sector.”
  •  “Startup rates have fallen. … Millennials are half as likely to start a business as compared to people over 50.”
  • “2018 was a record year for venture capital in the state. … Deals have been bigger overall … with a higher price tag.”
  • Given recent market – and climate – volatility, 2019 seems sure to be an interesting year of highs and lows in the Tar Heel State.

The panel was the first in a series of workshops and round-tables to be hosted by the Campbell MBA program in 2019. Designed to engage students, alumni, and the business community in dialogues on timely topics impacting the business climate in North Carolina and beyond, the events will be hosted in Campbell’s downtown Raleigh campus. Home to the Campbell MBA, Masters of Trust & Wealth Management, and Law programs, this accessible venue is a center for discussion, networking, and community gatherings as members of the business community explore and examine relevant issues.