‘Economy is in better shape' says economist to Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce

Photo courtesy of Weldon Photography Dr. Luke Tilley, a regional economic advisor with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, presented the Economic Outlook for 2013 to the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 18.

Economic advisor Dr. Luke Tilley told Kutztown area business owners that the economic news has improved over the past year.

A regional economic advisor with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, Tilley recently presented the Economic Outlook for 2013. This was his third time being asked by the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce to present the annual fiscal outlook.

“The economy is in better shape than we were a year ago when I spoke to your group,” said Tilley.

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Talking about the unemployment rate and the housing market, he said there are a lot of parts of the economy that have yet to return to normal, even though they have improved over the past year.

“Things have certainly improved,” he said. “But we still have a long way to go. We’re not back to normal. We’re not in full use of the capacity of our economy.”

When asked about inflation, he said the inflation rate for consumers is around 2 percent right now and is expected to stay under control between 1.5 and 2 percent over the next year.

Tilley noted that the opinions expressed were his own and not necessarily those of the Federal Reserve.

“The goal of the Federal Reserve and this outreach program is to give businesses and consumers an idea of where the Federal Reserve sees the economy and how the Federal Reserve policy is trying to achieve the goals of Congress that we’ve been given,” Tilley said after the presentation.

He hopes chamber members have a better idea of the current economic situation and how the Federal Reserve is trying to encourage growth while keeping inflation in check, he said.

Chamber Executive Director Tammy Gore thanked Tilley for once again sharing his presentation with the chamber.

“We love having Dr. Luke Tilley,” said Gore. “You get a sense of the direction. It sounds like things are improving, not as fast as we would like them to, but it seems like we’re going in the right direction.”

She said Tilley has a wealth of knowledge.

“I hope everyone walked away with something that they can apply in their thinking when they go back to their businesses,” said Gore. “I would think there was something in that presentation for everybody.”

Held at Kutztown University in the Student Union Building’s Multipurpose Room, Fleetwood Bank sponsored the chamber’s January Membership Meeting and Breakfast.