President of Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in Blacksburg to talk economy

Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 5:24 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Business professionals in the New River Valley got an update Thursday on the economy from Tom Barkin, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

“I spend three, four days every week on the ground in the communities that we serve, trying to talk to businesses, trying to talk to community leaders and trying to understand what’s happening,” he said.

Barkin is responsible for five states and Washington, D.C. Thursday he spoke at the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce’s “Eggs and Issues,” monthly meeting.

“I’d say the economy is still very healthy,” Barkin said. “Unemployment is near 50-year lows, 3.6%. GDP is growing and growing quickly at 2.4% and inflation’s coming down, so all that’s very good.”

Community business leaders say hearing the information from the top is important.

“The Fed President from Richmond coming here is quite an honor and and his expertise is invaluable,” owner of Automation Creations Henry Bass said.

”It is fascinating to be able to read and always listen to the market updates, do it on a daily basis, but to actually be able to sit down and hear from a Federal Reserve representative in person makes a world of a difference,” Financial Advisor Meghan Kuczmarski said.

They say the main takeaway is investing for the future.

“Don’t get caught up in the short-term ups and downs, the fluctuations, the housing market continues to be tight but it’s a good time to hire,” Bass said. “It’s a good time to be looking for a job right now and we think the future looks looks pretty bright.”