BRADENTON, Fla. - Rising coal and gas prices coupled with conservative fiscal management have helped West Virginia weather the economic downturn so far, according to state officials, but at least one expert believes the state is on the verge of recession due in large part to job losses.

"Severance tax collections are going to keep West Virginia in the black" in fiscal 2009, Department of Revenue deputy secretary Mark Muchow said at the Annual West Virginia Economic Outlook Conference in Charleston yesterday.

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