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Progress undeniable; use data for monetary policy

About 100 professionals attended an economic outlook event Oct. 16 in the Club Lounge at PPL Center in Allentown. - (Photo / Brian Pedersen)

When it comes to examining true economic growth, it pays to study the long-term picture and rely on data for monetary policy decisions – rather than the frequent fluctuations in the market.

When it comes to examining true economic growth, it pays to study the long-term picture and rely on data for monetary policy decisions – rather than the frequent fluctuations in the market.

And while a major crisis such as the Ebola virus can create market volatility, experts should rely on economic data to tell them how to act.

Charles Plosser, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, outlined this view during his Oct. 16 visit to the PPL Center in downtown Allentown. Aside from the role of monetary policy, he also discussed jobs, inflation and economic growth.

He spoke at an “economic breakfast,” an invitation-only event hosted by Lehigh Valley Partnership (a public/private organization) and Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. that drew about 100 people to the club lounge at the new center.

“His insights are inspirational and right on point,” said Scott Fainor, president and CEO of National Penn Bank, headquartered in Allentown. Fainor, chairman of the Lehigh Valley Partnership, introduced Plosser to the audience.

Touching on the issue of whether Allentown’s recent economic rebirth – with hundreds of millions of dollars in new development in its downtown – could be considered stable, long-term growth, Plosser said he was optimistic.

“There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about Allentown,” Plosser said. “There is a lot to be proud of.”

Medical care is one area of the labor market that’s expected to be in strong demand, particularly for this region, according to Plosser.

“As we move forward over time, I think that the labor force has the right kind of skills to grow,” he said.

Plosser, the 10th president of the Philadelphia Fed, announced last month his plan to retire in March. He said Reserve Banks perform several roles, including distributing currency and serving as the bank for the U.S. Treasury.

Brian Pedersen
Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at [email protected] or 610-807-9619, ext. 4108.

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