2019 Economic Symposium features economists Basu, Keith

At the 2019 Economic Symposium on Oct. 24 are, from left, Al Silverstein, Talbot County Chamber of Commerce president and CEO; Nick Lambrow, senior vice president and president of M&T Bank’s Delaware region; Gary Keith, M&T Bank economist and vice president; Anirban Basu, Sage Policy Group, Inc. chairman and CEO; and Nash McMahon, president of Tri-Gas & Oil.

EASTON — Featured speakers M&T Bank Economist and Vice President Gary Keith, and Sage Policy Group, Inc. Chairman and CEO Anirban Basu drew more than 120 businesses and 180 guests to the 2019 Economic Symposium.

The annual symposium held on Oct. 24, at the Tidewater Inn in Easton was sponsored by Tri-Gas & Oil and M&T Bank.

Always a symposium favorite, Basu titled his talk “To All The Economists I’ve Loved Before.” The economist mixed humor and statistics to share trends and forecasts.

Basu refers to himself as a comedian economist, and Silverstein said he “always adds ‘There’s no guarantee that what I say is right. After all, I am an economist.”

“What is amazing about him is that he never uses a note or looks at the presentation on the screen. He’s a superstar,” said Talbot County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Al Silverstein.

Basu said Maryland was ranked number 36 in employment growth in the U.S. from September 2018 to September 2019. In August 2019, Talbot County was ranked number four in Maryland Unemployment Rates in the County.

Keith has had a 30-year career at M&T Bank, providing economic research, and analysis support to M&T’s executive management and commercial banking business. He ties together the economic variables that describe the macro economy with real world decisions that businesses make every day.

“Keith travels nationally and speaks to what is happening on the national level, and he also talked about some of the things that are happening here locally,” Silverstein said.

“Dr. Basu has a great grasp of what’s happening both nationally, but specializes in Maryland and brings it down to Talbot County,” Silverstein said.

Keith’s presentation, “U.S. Economic Trends and 2020 Outlook” outlined the positives and negatives of the national economic cycle. According to his presentation, the positives are that employment growth is still solid, household income and spending continue to rise and leading indicators remain positive.

Keith said, however, that the labor market is tightening, wage growth is gradually accelerating, protectionist trade policies are dampening export demand and manufacturing sector is in recession.

“You need to have good job opportunities for those individuals who want to work and live here so they don’t have to drive across the (Bay) Bridge,” Silverstein said. “We need to be developing plans to do that. We need police, teachers, individuals in the medical field, wholesale and retail.”

“Our unemployment numbers are way down, and we need to be working hard to train people, give them new skills,” Silverstein said. “Right now, its a real challenge to get those individuals to the pipe line.”

APG Chesapeake President and CEO Jim Normandin attended the symposium.

“In my position in the media world, we have a sensible obligation to keep our eyes open for trends that will both affect our local economy, and secondly, to understand what the horizon looks like,” Normandin said.

Interim Editor Connie Connolly contributed to this story.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.