University of Pittsburgh
December 19, 1999

PITT ECONOMIST PREDICTS UNCERTAINTY IN YEAR 2000

Contact: 

Sharon Blake

412-624-4364

Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 20 -- Given the uneasiness over the stock market and concerns about mounting consumer debt, a University of Pittsburgh economist predicts 2000 will be an uncertain year for the national and regional economy.

Reuben E. Slesinger, Pitt professor emeritus of economics, will deliver his annual economic forecast, "The Millennium Year 2000: More Questions, Muddles, Answers and Projections," on Sunday, Jan. 9, at 9:45 a.m. at the Tree of Life Synagogue at Wilkins and Shady Avenues, Squirrel Hill. The presentation is open to the public and follows a free breakfast.

A second presentation is scheduled for later that day at 7 p.m. following a buffet dinner at the University Club, 123 University Place, Oakland. Dinner is at 5:30 p.m., costs $8.95, and reservations are required.

Slesinger, who has been delivering an annual economic outlook address for more than 30 years, predicts inflation and interest rates will drift upward. "And, faced with weak profits and an unforgiving Wall Street, companies are making investments and hiring decisions that could start a slow-down in economic growth," said Slesinger. On the other hand, unemployment is low and there has been an increase in real wages and salaries. "The greatest challenge facing Americans in 2000 is how to make commitments and decisions in a period of uncertainty," he noted.

Slesinger's report, which also includes a list of his top stocks to watch and stocks to stay away from, is available at either presentation or through Sharon S. Blake at

412-624-4364.

-30- 12/20/99/shg