California State University, Long Beach
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2008-09 Regional Economic Forecast
by Office of Economic Research at CSULB
for May 22 at Long Beach Convention Center

Business and civic leaders from throughout the greater Long Beach area will be on hand as the Office of Economic Research at CSULB presents its 14th annual Regional Economic Forecast Conference on Thursday, May 22, beginning at 7:30 a.m. in the Long Beach Convention Center.

Where is the U.S. economy headed, and what is expected from the Fed in terms of future monetary policy actions? What impact will the slowing U.S. economy have on regional economic performance?  Which areas in the region are seeing job losses, which are not and why? When will the regional housing market bottom out? These are just some of the questions that will be addressed during the two-and-half hour event.

Focusing on the five-county region that includes Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside/San Bernardino and Ventura counties, the 2008-09 Regional Economic Forecast will estimate employment growth rates for the region as a whole as well as growth rates for the counties individually.

The annual forecast is under the direction of Joe Magaddino, chair of the CSULB Economics Department, and Lisa Grobar, professor of economics and director of the Economic Forecast Project.

“The economy technically may or may not be in a recession, but we still need to know when this period of iffy economic growth will morph into good times,” Magaddino noted. “How long will this credit crunch last, what impact will it have on corporations and small firms, and what sectors will make up for the hit from the housing meltdown? These are some of the areas we will address in this year’s forecast.”

Magaddino and Grobar interpret comprehensive sets of data on trade, housing, employment and income in compiling the forecast.  The regional effect of multiple national variables, such as interest rates, the federal budget and international trade, is also factored in.

“Economic conditions are quite different in 2008 as compared to a year ago, both at the national and regional level.  At the national level, we are dealing with an economy in or near recession, record oil prices, and a credit crunch brought on by subprime mortgage crisis,” Grobar pointed out. “This is a particularly challenging year for forecasters, because the subprime crisis and the resulting fallout affecting financial markets nationally, does not have a historical precedent.”

The cost for individuals to attend the conference is $125, which includes a buffet breakfast and hand-out materials.  However, seating is limited.  For more information about the 2008-09 Regional Economic Forecast, call the CSULB Office of Economic Research at 562/985-5061.