A local study is forecasting relative stability in the local economy over the next year.

The study unveiled today by the Economic Research Institute of Erie.

Penn State Behrend's Dr. Ken Louie told an audience at the Manufacturer and Business Association that the local economy should do fairly well next year, but still lag behind the national economy.

The study indicates a positive outlook in several sectors including construction, education and health services.

With manufacturing employment perhaps down a bit, but pretty much unchanged.

Louie said, "So we expected it to be relatively stable perhaps with a slight decline next year. But we are keeping our fingers crossed hoping the national economy will continue to be strong and that will help boost the local economy."

The study sees the biggest problem area in the retail sector, already facing increased competition from on-line companies.