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Fed president expects economy to pick up next year

http://66.225.205.104/LM20081204.mp3

A Federal Reserve President shared the stage with three of Charlotte's top CEOs today to take a shot at predicting what's in store for the economy next year. Before the business leaders cast their predictions, they acknowledged how sorely off they were last year. President of the Richmond Federal Reserve Jeffrey Lacker told an audience of more than 600 at the Charlotte Chamber event the economy should pick up late next year. "The drag from housing seems likely to lessen next year. In fact, I'd be surprised if we don't see a bottom in housing construction sometime in 2009. Should warn you however this is the third straight year that I've been expecting a bottom in the housing market in the middle of next year," said Lacker. Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis echoed Lacker's cautious optimism. He said there are opportunities out there but it also makes sense to hold onto cash and capital to get through these tough times.