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Region's economy slowly improving, report says

Sanjay Varshney at the Alumni Center

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View full-length video of the Sacramento Business Review symposium


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The seventh issue of Sacramento Business Review was released Wednesday, Jan. 25, with some good news for the capital city region – the local economy is slowly improving. Nearly 400 people, representing regional business and economic sectors, attended the release event held at 3 p.m. in Sacramento State’s Alumni Center.

The biannual publication is a partnership between Sacramento State’s College of Business Administration and the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Society of Sacramento, providing a comprehensive assessment of the regional economy.

The latest issue was released in conjunction with the afternoon symposium that featured guest speaker Axel Merk, president and CIO of Merk Funds.

The new Sacramento Business Review includes results from the Financial Conditions Index. “The new index is telling us the region is stabilizing, and a very, very slow recovery is under way,” says Sanjay Varshney, dean of the College of Business Administration.

“It’s fairly fragile at this point,” he cautions, adding that the recovery is contingent on the government sector, which is still under budgetary pressures; and from the residential real estate sector, where inventory and foreclosure rates remain high.

But there are glimmers of hope, Varshney says. “Our Small Business Confidence Index also shows signs of optimism and reveals that, clearly, the small businesses in the region are feeling pretty good about access to bank credit.”

Both indexes are sophisticated proprietary leading indicators of things to come.

During the symposium, Sacramento Business Review analysts presented details about their findings and forecasts. Guest speaker Merk took a more national and international view, looking at what impact Europe will have; the dynamics of the global game played between the U.S., Asia and Europe; and whether this is the end of the dollar era.

Varshney is proud of the publication’s impact. “This is the biggest public service the College of Business Administration provides to the region,” he says. “I am so delighted that we are now producing the seventh edition.”

He also noted the importance of the relationship with the CFA. “The partnership has really blossomed,” Varshney says. “There is no other detailed economic forecast you can find for a large region such as Sacramento.”

For more on Sacramento Business Review, visit For media assistance, call Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

– Craig Koscho