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Fuller gives upbeat outlook
Stephen Fuller addresses annual meeting of Fredericksburg Regional Alliance.


Date published: 10/28/2011

BY BILL FREEHLING

The economy is doing better than many people think, and Northern Virginia is outperforming most areas of the U.S., a prominent regional economist told area business leaders yesterday.

"It isn't as bleak as you thought," Stephen Fuller told area business and government leaders at the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance's 12th annual meeting. The event was held at the University of Mary Washington's Jepson Alumni Executive Center.

Fuller is director of George Mason University's Center for Regional Analysis. He speaks frequently at business events in the Fredericksburg area and generally delivers an upbeat message about the economy.

Fuller said spending by the federal government is no longer propelling economic growth in the region, but he said that remains a significant and stable part of the economy. Health care and education are performing well, and the Fredericksburg area does well in both. Construction is lagging the worst.

In other business at yesterday's FRA meeting:

John Neal, president of Union First Market Bank, and James "Buddy" Kourouklis, StellarOne Bank's market president for the Fredericksburg area, were named to the FRA board.

FRA President Gene Bailey said his organization will move to its new office at Eagle Village around Dec. 1. He also urged the business community to consider creating internship programs for UMW students.

Area developers Hugh Cosner and Carl Silver were recognized with a standing ovation for their long careers and contributions to area economic development. Carl Silver did not attend the meeting.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
Email: bfreehling@freelancestar.com