More than 100 people turned out for an economic forum in Kearney focusing on the state of the U.S. economy. The forum was hosted by the Omaha Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Senior Vice President and Omaha Bank Executive Nate Kauffman was the featured speaker.
“We host events like these so we can share information about what we’re seeing at the Fed, but we also use it as an opportunity to ask question and learn too,” he said. “When it comes time to making sure that views from this region are represented in Washington D.C., it’s important for us to have these interactions.”
Kauffman spoke about the state of the economy, inflation, the labor market and monetary policy. Nebraska, he said, seems to weather economic downturns better than other states. In addition, the labor market is exceptionally strong in the Cornhusker state.
“Nebraska is a state where we don’t experience the same kind of highs and lows as other parts of the country,” he added. “Economic growth in Nebraska tends to be more stable compared to other states.”
A number of business students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney came to the forum to listen to Kauffman, and to write a paper on the experience for a Money & Banking class.
“We talk in class about the Federal Reserve and how important banking is in our community,” said Dr. Suzanne Hayes, a UNK business professor. “We learn about the what the Federal Reserve does, and we use Federal Reserve resources in our classes.”
“One thing I hadn’t realized is how sturdy Nebraska is about recessions,” said senior Kailee Miller. “It was interesting to hear from him about the larger impacts down the road.”
The Omaha Branch periodically hosts Economic Forums in communities across the state to provide updates on the economy, and to hear what kinds of questions the general public has.
“We are ultimately tasked with representing the regions we serve,” Kauffman said. “It’s important for us to know that we are representing views that come from Nebraska, that come from Kearney.”
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that, along with the Board of Governors in Washington D.C., make up our nation’s central bank. The Kansas City Fed and its branch offices in Denver, Oklahoma City and Omaha serve seven states: Kansas, western Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Colorado and northern New Mexico.