At the 9th Annual Economic Forecast Forum, most who spoke with ABC11 predicted slow and steady growth.
"I'm optimistic that this year is going to be a much better year in North Carolina. We are so well positioned in so many positive attributes that this state has, that I think we are going to see good things happen this year, and most of the people here today are going to be driving that changing of events for the better," offered Thad Woodard, President and CEO of the North Carolina Bankers Association.
The sold out forum - with more than one thousand attending - drew business, government, and nonprofit leaders from across the state to discuss challenges to budgets and new approaches to tackling them.
"We're lucky this morning to have the Governor's budget secretary along with House and Senate budget leaders talking about their ideas on the budget as well as getting feedback from audience," explained NC Chamber President Lew Ebert.
The group also heard from former UNC leader Erskine Bowles who is now co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and Mark Vitner - senior economist at Wells Fargo.