Barron Sees Positives In Economy

JACKSON — Patrick K. Barron isn’t an odds maker or a betting man, but as first vice president and COO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, he’ll wager that the American economy will recover from its prolonged slump.

In an exclusive interview with the Mississippi Business Journal, Barron expressed optimism regarding the performance of the economy, though he cautioned that a return to more prosperous times would not happen overnight.

“I have a positive feeling about the outlook for our economy,” said Barron, who was in Jackson recently to speak at a forum sponsored by the Mississippi Council on Economic Education. “We’re seeing economic growth and spending but consumers will still be challenged because of unemployment rates.

“Consumers are looking for job growth.”

As the second highest-ranking individual at the Atlanta Fed, Barron works closely with the President in developing financial policies. He also oversees the day-to-day operations of the Federal Reserve, including all operating and support functions for financial service activities in the Sixth District.

Barron described the Federal Reserve as a “three-legged stool,” with the most important duties related to the maintenance of monetary and credit conditions favorable to sound business activity in all fields — agriculture, industrial and commercial.