The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce held its Second Brief the morning of January 13 at the Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel. A regionally focused event, the 2010 Hampton Roads Business Brief focused on the state of the economy. The presentation by Gary Bigg, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Economist, provided the 150 attendees with insight into major topics of discussion, which range from national, state and local economy and indicators of the pending recovery and growth areas for the region.
Bigg told the crowd that he anticipates solid, albeit unspectacular economic growth over the next several years. He explained that one of the prime drivers of growth over the next two years will be a revival in trade. Bigg expects a revival in exports and imports, which should provide a major boost to Norfolk port activity. In addition, since imports require space for warehousing, Bigg anticipates a firmer demand for industrial space. In 2010, real gross domestic product is forecast to grow by 3.2%. That growth in GDP is expected to accelerate to 3.4% in 2011. Because of the decreased value of the U.S. dollar, Bigg expects strong growth in heavy equipment and software manufacturing segments over this period.
The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce thanks Presenting Sponsor Bank of America and Host Sponsor Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel.