Why Pittsburgh Resources Success Stories News & Events Supporters Contact Us



Huntington Bank’s Mokrzan Provides Overview of ‘The Economy in 2013’


Guest speaker Dr. George Mokrzan points out how emerging economies are expected to continue leading the world in growth. View his presentation.


PITTSBURGH, 21 May 2013 - At the spring meeting of the German American Business Circle, Huntington Bank Director of Economics Dr. George Mokrzan presented a fascinating and comprehensive snapshot of the U.S., German and Pittsburgh economies. His comments were set against the backdrop of an economy experiencing modest growth with heightened risks, especially from fiscal headwinds and the euro zone crisis.

He was introduced by Susan Baker Shipley, President of Huntington’s Western Pennsylvania and Ohio Valley Regions.


Huntington Bank CEO Susan Baker Shipley

In his remarks, Mokrzan noted that the current highly accommodative monetary policy is expected to provide plentiful support worldwide, and that U.S. consumer demand gradually is improving on stronger finances and job growth.

“Business balance sheets are healthy, but risk appetite is cautious,” Mokrzan said. He added that housing recovery expected to gain upward momentum, with exports likely to pick up next year, and that inflation and market interest rates are likely to trend upward after slow near-term period.

“Positive” Factors Driving the Economy:

  • Low interest rates / plentiful liquidity plus quantitative easing (QE3)

  • Improving consumer finances help release pent-up demand

  • Export growth in long-term

  • Business spending on equipment  strong during cycle, with solid aggregate profits and cash flows

  • Inventory levels lean

  • Strong manufacturing resurgence in long-term

  • Recovering housing markets, and

  • Natural gas development

“Negative” Factors Driving the Economy:

  • U.S. federal debt concerns and fiscal uncertainties.

  • Higher taxes & regulation

  • Euro-zone sovereign debt danger

  • Slow real disposable personal income growth

  • State and local fiscal woes

  • Slower worldwide economic growth

  • Long-term inflation risks

  • Geo-political risks, and

  • Prices for energy and other commodities

Consumer confidence will provide the all-important “swing” impact, Mokrzan said. [View his full presentation in PDF format.]

Additional Comments: GABC official Jeffrey Deane of Malin, Bergquist & Co. formally welcomed Shipley, noting that she has been in her current post since November 2011 and leads its commercial business segment, based in Pittsburgh.

Susanne Cook of Cohen & Grigsby announced that GABC is now incorporated as a non-profit organization which should encourage corporate donations.  In partnership with the Pittsburgh Rotary Club Foundation, the scholarship is intended to benefit collegiate-level students in Western Pennsylvania who demonstrate academic excellence and strong interest in German-American business affairs and culture, and who plan to further their studies at an accredited institution of higher learning in Germany.

Malin Bergquist’s Mark Miner welcomed special guest Melissa Lamson, an expert on German-American cross-cultural communication and global business development. She is the author of the book No Such Thing as Small Talk: 7 Keys to Understanding German Business Culture, with a second book in development.

Corporate Supporters: Ardex Americas, BKD LLP, Cohen & Grigsby, Huntington Bank, Sycor and Westar International Forwarders

Media Supporters: Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Our Region's Business and Pittsburgh Business Times

Future Events - To receive an invitation to future GABC events, please contact Erika Daxbeck at