Nov. 13 IRF Symposium to Discuss Houston as a ‘Sparkling Diamond’

Published on November 7, 2012

Business leaders will have a chance to welcome executive director Bill Gilmer


Jobs are up. Real estate is in demand. Houston’s medical, energy and shipping industries are fueling the region’s economy.

This is some of the good news you can expect to hear at the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business Institute for Regional Forecasting’s fall 2012 symposium. At the popular, twice-a-year series scheduled for Nov. 13, featured speaker Dr. Ted C. Jones is poised to portray the region’s macro economy as a brilliant gem that is shining like never before.

The luncheon presentation — “Houston 2012-2013: A Sparkling Diamond of Many Facets – Medical, Oil & Gas, Petrochemicals, the Port… A Real Estate and Economic Outlook” — runs from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1200 Louisiana St. Tickets are $110 per person or $125 at the door. Advance registration is suggested.

Over the years, the spring and fall forecasts have become a signature event of the Institute for Regional Forecasting (IRF). This symposium is the first one organized by the IRF from its new home at the Bauer College. In October, the IRF moved to Bauer from the Hobby Center for Public Policy and named Robert W. “Bill” Gilmer its new executive director. The symposium will be an opportunity for Houston business leaders to get to know Gilmer, formerly the senior economist and vice president of Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

In a recent “Bauer Business Focus” interview with KUHF’s Andrew Schneider, Gilmer said Houston’s dynamic exporting and energy markets have helped it shake off the recession quicker than other U.S. regions. Indeed, during the 12 months ending in July, Houston created 83,700 new jobs. And the vacancy rate for Houston’s industrial market is the lowest in a decade.

But Gilmer said growth could be flat in early 2013, thanks to turmoil in the European markets and a slowing of Asia’s economy. “I think we will continue to do better than the U.S.,” Gilmer said of Houston, “but the U.S. has slowed significantly as well.”

Jones, who holds a Ph.D. in finance from Texas A&M, is senior vice president and chief economist at Stewart Title Guaranty Co., where he writes a blog.

Gilmer holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Texas at Austin.

By Wendell Brock

Posted Under: Faculty and Staff

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