A local economist who predicted that the Columbus area economy would fare well this year, although its largest employer would have challenges, will again present his local forecast during a panel discussion.

Ryan Brewer, assistant professor of finance at IUPUC, is one of four economists that will participate in the IU Business Outlook Panel and Breakfast on Nov. 7 at the Columbus Learning Center auditorium.

The panelists will present global, national, state and local economic forecasts, as well as for financial markets.

The stop in Columbus is part of a 10-city tour during November by economists within the Indiana University system.

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A year ago, Brewer forecast that Cummins Inc. faced some uncertainty, but its diversified portfolio would help offset some of the challenges.

In the months to follow, Cummins’ first-quarter revenues dropped 9 percent from the same quarter in 2015, and its second-quarter revenues fell 10 percent from the same period a year earlier because of weak international markets and lower truck production in North America.

Brewer expressed general optimism about the Columbus economy last year based on reports showing:

Residential building permits were up 20 percent from the prior year.

Size of the county’s labor force and number of jobs reached all-time highs in September 2015.

U.S. automotive sales were expected to increase.

Three other panelists and a moderator will join Brewer in Columbus.

Willard E. Witte, U.S. and global outlooks. Witte is a retired associate professor emeritus of economics in the Department of Economics at Indiana University in Bloomington. He continues activities with the IU Center for Econometric Model Research.

Jim Grandorf, state forecast. Grandorf is a clinical professor of accounting at Indiana University Kelley School of Business in Bloomington.

James C. Smith, financial markets outlook. Smith is a senior lecturer in finance at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business at IUPUI.

Frank Wadsworth, moderator. Wadsworth is the division head of the Indiana University Division of Business at IUPUC and professor of marketing and international studies.

The event costs $15 and people can register online through the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.

If you go

WHAT: IU Business Outlook Panel and Breakfast

WHEN: 7:30 a.m. Nov. 7

WHERE: Columbus Learning Center auditorium, 4555 Central Ave.

WHY: To present national, state and local forecasts during a tour of various Indiana cities each year. Columbus is one of 10 stops on the tour, Nov. 3-18.

NOTABLE: Event starts with check-in, networking and breakfast. Panelists begin presentations at 8 a.m., a question-and-answer session follows and the event will conclude by 9:30.

COST: $15

TO REGISTER: Online at columbusarea.chambermaster.com/events/details/indiana-business-outlook-panel-11-07-2016-1250

INFORMATION: Contact Kami Adams at the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce by sending an email to kadams@columbusareachamber.com or by calling 812-379-4457.

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Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at johannesen@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5639.