Aug 31, 2011 6:51 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Federal Reserve Bank President Visits Lafayette

The president of the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta visits Lafayette today. Denis Lockhart told an audience of Acadiana financial leaders, it'll be a slow road to full recovery, but things are getting better.

Lockhart said," the consumer had been quite cautious about spending. All of that adds up to a weak overall demand in the economy."

Louisiana's expanding energy sector is helping slowly improve the nation's economy.

"Drilling and finding gas or oil needs to pick up," he said. "With that should come more people employed and more support industries that are actively supporting the drilling activity."

The oil and gas industry fuels Lafayette's economy. In fact, in some way or another, the industry accounts for 40 percent of consumer spending.

Chief Executive Officer of Stuller Incorporated, Matthew Stuller, said, "we are very blessed in Lafayette with a strong economy, good consumer spending."

Louisiana's strong economic standing could get even better as exploration continues in Central Louisiana's Tuscalossa Marine Shale. Geologists predict there's more than seven billion barrels of oil under the land.

Lockhart said, "the shale gas phenomenon is a major development that's extremely positive for the country overall. From a regional perspective it should be very positive for Louisiana."



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