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Chase Private Client guests hear economic forecast

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Anthony Chan, Chase Private Client's chief economist, told clients at a private gathering May 2 that he had good news.

And he delivered it in his own, humorous way, peppered with current events and punch lines lifted from the entertainment section.

But Chan wasn't just entertaining window dressing. He has a doctorate degree, was a professor of economics at the University of Dayton and then an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York before spending time as the senior economist at Barclays de Zoete Wedd Government Securities.

And he's put in more than 300 appearances on CNBC.

Chan told the crowd the United States has the "nicest story," right now in terms of the economy. It's up about 2 percent, and even though most people are conditioned to expect 3 or 4 percent, relative to other economies, things are good.

Chan said some cynics want to wait and wait for the S&P index to make big leaps rather than trusting on the slow and steady gains, despite last year's 13.4 percent jump, but he had a way to drive home his advice.

"You've got to use that Randy Jackson point of view," he said. "You've got to be in it to win it."

Chan didn't stay too deep in the weeds of his economic update, but he balanced his thorough expertise with his humorous takes on a few current events.

He said the equities market is more of a marathon than a sprint, and now consumers are becoming a little more comfortable.

"The prices are coming back up and the wealth is coming up," Chan said.

He said consumers are "hanging in there," and even pulled out some numbers for Charleston, saying the local unemployment rate has steadily come down from 10 percent to 6.1 percent.

"Businesses are starting to spend more money," he said. "There are some negative things out there.

"Never lose faith in the American people to increase productivity."

Chan spoke about the current European economy, saying the news there "is terrible."

And in Asia, he said they're doing a little better.

He took several questions from the audience on a range of topics.

Mark Lucas, market director for Chase Wealth Management, said the clients are extremely engaged at events like that, and even without the expert financial picture Chan provides, it's a nice event.

"Our clients deserve this," Lucas said. "They deserve the best banking we can give them and the best investment advice we can give them."

Chase Private Client launched in Huntington in March. It offers personalized attention through the Private Client Banker and the J.P. Morgan Private ClientAdvisor, featuring preferred rates, waived fees, and a 24/7 hotline with a direct representative.

"Chase Private Client is a recognition and response to the evolving needs of our affluent Chase customers," Chase Wealth Management CEO Barry Sommers said in a news release. "As our customers' lives get more complex, we aim to provide them with the products and services they want and need to most effectively manage their wealth."