Economic Forecasting and Development Center Launched

School of Business Administration and Beacon Economics team up to launch first university forecasting center in Inland Southern California

Christopher Thornberg standing on stage giving an economic forecast

Christopher Thornberg

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — The School of Business Administration (SOBA), home of the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Riverside announced today the launch of a major new initiative for economic research and collaboration. The Center for Economic Forecasting and Development will open its doors in October and is the first world class university forecasting center in Inland Southern California.

The center will bring the full resources of the university to bear in creating modern, first rate economic forecasts and economic development products that expand understanding and amplify interest in one of the state’s most vital growth areas. The center will act as a hub of collaboration where innovative development ideas and strategies can emerge from both researchers and business and government leaders.

“A university plays one of the most pivotol roles in a community’s economic and social landscape,” said Yunzeng Wang, dean of the School of Business Administration at UC Riverside. “This center, and the work and insights that come out of it, will allow UCR and SOBA to expand its engagement in the region and contribute practical and explorative research to the critical dialogue going on about Inland Southern California’s economy.”

The importance of the area today, both locally and across the state and nation, is undeniable says the center’s newly appointed director, nationally renowned economist Christopher Thornberg.

Yunzeng Wang and Kim Wilcox on stage at the 2014 economic forecast conference.

Yunzeng Wang and Kim Wilcox at the 2014 economic forecast conference.

“Riverside and San Bernardino Counties make up an economic area that is larger than Detroit, Seattle, San Diego, or Orange County,” Thornberg said. “This is an economy on the move, with huge implications for the rapidly growing local population and for economic activity and development far beyond its borders.”

Thornberg will also become an adjunct professor at the School of Business Administration. He received widespread recognition as one of the first and most accurate forecasters of the subprime mortgage market collapse that began in 2006 and one of a handful of economists who correctly calculated the global recession that followed. He is the founding partner of Beacon Economics and will retain that position in addition to his appointment as director of the center.

Joining Thornberg as deputy director is Sherif Hanna who brings with him more than 20 years of operations management experience and will guide the center’s strategic partnerships and long term direction. Hanna is the managing partner of Beacon Economics and will also retain that position in addition to his appointment.

On October 1st, the center will launch with the Inland Southern California Economic Forecast Conference, one of the most anticipated gatherings of private and public sector leaders in the region. The conference is in its 6th year, but is now under the guise and leadership of the center.

The event, being held at the Riverside Convention Center, is expected to draw hundreds of attendees from across the state and will include new forecasts for the global, U.S., California, and Inland Southern California economies. A panel of education and government leaders, including University of California, Riverside Chancellor Kim Wilcox, will debate the future of the inland region in both the near and long term.

To attend the event, please contact Victoria Pike Bond for a press pass.

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-4756

Additional Contacts

Victoria Pike Bond, director of marketing and communcations, Beacon Economics
Tel: 415-457-6030

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