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Business Economics Students Predict Slow Growth for the State Economy

Increase in gross domestic product less than 1 percent

Nine Sacred Heart business economics students revealed much about the state’s economy, including its slow growth, at their CT Economic Outlook presentation this spring.

Dressed in business attire, the seniors from Professor Lucjan Orlowski’s economic forecasting course spoke about the state’s economy in the finance lab in the Frank and Marisa Martire Business & Communications Center. They touched upon education, manufacturing, taxes, real estate, unemployment and other conditions. Through their analysis, the students concluded that Connecticut’s economy is growing at a slow rate.

The students said Connecticut’s gross domestic product will show a 0.9 percent increase this year, but 2017 will show only a 0.5 percent increase. “This is lower than the U.S. as a whole,” said Brian Breslin. “Connecticut has been lower recently.”

As for employment, 90 percent of the state’s labor force is employed, which matches with the national average, said Austin Arcala. He added that work in construction is growing.

Meghan Corvington spoke about education. Citing census data, Corvington said Connecticut has the third-highest rate of residents with advanced degrees in the country. She added that Connecticut is known for having hard-working employees that produce more work than the US average.

The students also said 2016 will be the year residents “ride the wave” of value-priced homes, taking advantage of low-priced homes due to the rising costs of rentals. Kevin Nolan shed some light on Connecticut banks, noting that they’re more profitable compared to the national average.

At the end of the presentation, professors and community members, including Fairfield Economic Director Mark Barnhart, questioned the group. Students agreed the state’s slow growth could be attributed to its tax policies. They also agreed that Connecticut has much to offer with its education advantages and access to major markets.

Orlowski said the analysis gives off mixed signals: the state is growing, just slowly. He said he hopes that next year, when a new group of students shares its analysis, there is more optimistic news.

Orlowski’s class selected the topics they wanted to research at the beginning of the semester and worked on the project for several months, Corvington said.

Nicole Magee said it was an interesting project that helped her learn and understand more about the state and its economy.