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STA South Carolina Spring Meeting

Division spring meeting provided textile executives an opportunity to network and hear the insights of economist Mark Vitner.

Jim Borneman, Editor In Chief

palmettosignThe Gastonia, N.C.-based Southern Textile Association’s (STA’s) South Carolina Division recently held its spring meeting at the Palmetto Expo Center’s Woodside Conference Center in Greenville.

The event — sponsored by American Suessen, American Truetzschler, Conitex Sonoco USA, Day International, Eltex US Inc., Frankl & Thomas Inc., GTP Greenville, Itema America Inc., Marzoli International, Neuenhauser Inc., Rieter Corp. and Seydel-Woolley & Co. Inc. — was a networking opportunity for many textile manufacturers and suppliers in the region. STA South Carolina Division Chairman Lisa Ariail Siggins, Glen Raven Inc., welcomed Wachovia Bank Director and Senior Economist Mark Vitner, who provided the meeting’s 105 attendees with an overview of the US economy, financial markets and real estate.


  vitner


Mark Vitner, Wachovia Bank director and senior economist, subtitled his presentation: "The music hasn't ended, but the beat certainly has changed."

  lisa


Lisa Ariail Siggins, Glen Raven Inc., STA's South Carolina Division chairman, welcomed guests to the division's spring meeting.


Vitner, a seasoned contributor who is responsible for tracking US and regional economic trends, also is a frequent guest on CNBC, CNN and the “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.”

“I know manufacturing has been hard-hit,” Vitner said, “but it is worth repeating, at least as long as it is true, that the United States is still the number-one manufacturer in the world. The total volume of our manufactured products is significantly larger than the entire Chinese economy.”

After a review of gross domestic product, capital spending, housing prices and interest rates, Vitner addressed questions raised by the audience.

Regarding China’s currency, he said property protection in China and the unknowns of China’s central banking and monetary policy raise doubts as to whether the yuan could float freely without major volatility. “I don’t think currency can really help us out. I don’t see it floating until well after the Olympics,” he said, referring to the Beijing-hosted games in 2008. “We might see the Chinese economy go bust by the end of the decade. That won’t be the end [of Chinese economic growth], but a bust on the way up. Every economy that goes boom has to bust sometime.”

Overall, Vitner stated he felt the global economy would be strong through 2009. “The world is awash in liquidity. This is something we are going to be dealing with for some time. The last time we generated this much liquidity in a short period of time was the 1970s. It will all work out in the end. You can make a lot of money if you can anticipate where that money is headed,” he said.
   Vitner, a seasoned contributor who is responsible for tracking US and regional economic trends, also is a frequent guest on CNBC, CNN and the “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.”

“I know manufacturing has been hard-hit,” Vitner said, “but it is worth repeating, at least as long as it is true, that the United States is still the number-one manufacturer in the world. The total volume of our manufactured products is significantly larger than the entire Chinese economy.”

After a review of gross domestic product, capital spending, housing prices and interest rates, Vitner addressed questions raised by the audience.

Regarding China’s currency, he said property protection in China and the unknowns of China’s central banking and monetary policy raise doubts as to whether the yuan could float freely without major volatility. “I don’t think currency can really help us out. I don’t see it floating until well after the Olympics,” he said, referring to the Beijing-hosted games in 2008. “We might see the Chinese economy go bust by the end of the decade. That won’t be the end [of Chinese economic growth], but a bust on the way up. Every economy that goes boom has to bust sometime.”

Overall, Vitner stated he felt the global economy would be strong through 2009. “The world is awash in liquidity. This is something we are going to be dealing with for some time. The last time we generated this much liquidity in a short period of time was the 1970s. It will all work out in the end. You can make a lot of money if you can anticipate where that money is headed,” he said.

The annual STA meeting will be held June 7-10 at the Hilton Head Marriott Beach & Golf Resort, Hilton Head Island, S.C. For more information contact Lillian Link, (704) 824-3522; www.southerntextile.org.

May/June 2006

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