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Countywide Focus

Economist to Predict Growth in County

February 21, 1996|DAVID R. BAKER

When economist Mark Schniepp takes the podium at today's Ventura County Economic Forecast Seminar, he will describe a local economy ready to grow in 1996.

"Ventura, quite confidently, is poised to be one of the leaders in growth and economic vitality," Schniepp said Tuesday.

Schniepp, director of UC Santa Barbara's Economic Forecast Project, is one of six speakers scheduled to dissect the local economy's past performance and project its future at the seminar at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. More than 280 people are expected to attend.

Topics for discussion include Southern California's real estate market, changes in the electric utility industry and the ways in which local governments will provide services in the future.

Schniepp said Tuesday that many elements of the local economy are improving. After a rocky 1995, the county's real estate market has started to rebound, he said. And the local economy is adding jobs, despite layoffs in such fields as manufacturing and finance.

Viewed together, the signs point to a growing economy, Schniepp said. But he cautioned against expecting the kind of rapid economic expansion that Southern California experienced before the recession.

"Things aren't going to be like the '80s, and people need to learn that," he said. "We are in a much more moderate growth period."

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