CHAMPAIGN — Attendees of Busey Bank Vice Chairman Ed Scharlau's economic seminar appear optimistic about the economy this year.
In a survey taken at Tuesday morning's seminar, the collective opinion of attendees was that:
— The Dow Jones Industrial Average will be 13,076 at year's end, up from 12,217 at the end of 2011.
— The six-month Treasury bill rate will be 0.23 percent, up from 0.10 percent in 2011.
— The rate of inflation will be 3.13 percent, up slightly from 3 percent in 2011.
— Retail sales in Champaign County will total $2.614 billion this year, up from $2.504 billion in 2011. The consensus figure was slightly higher than the $2.580 billion that Scharlau has projected.
— The number of new single-family homes in Champaign, Urbana and Savoy will be 185, up from 169. Again, the consensus figure was higher than Scharlau's projection of 175.
At each seminar, Scharlau recognizes the audience member from the previous seminar who most accurately predicted the Dow Jones Industrial Average, inflation rate and other statistics. This time Minor Jackson of Parkland College was recognized as Scharlau's "Economist of the Year"
The seminar, held at the University of Illinois Assembly Hall, featured a short presentation from UI Chancellor Phyllis Wise.
She said area leaders who attended the UI's transformational leadership summit will reconvene at the end of this month to help chart goals for the community over the next six years.