California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Forecasting an economic future for California

    The Center for Economic Research and Forecasting, CERF, is not something that many students on CLU’s campus are familiar with.

    Not many majors at CLU require students to have prior knowledge about the economic standings of their country, state, or county, but it is something that impacts the lives of every person across America.

    CERF does economic forecasting for the United States as well as California, Oregon, Ventura, Camarillo, Oxnard, and Central Oregon, according to Dan Hamilton, director of economics and a professor of macroeconomics and econometrics at CLU.

    Reports for the United States, California and Oregon are all completed after each quarter, while the counties and cities are only published once a year. Hamilton said that this is because of the lower amount of data that is collected from counties and cities.

    Private companies can also request a custom forecast for up to the next 30 years. The reposts include economic impact analysis, custom research and specified essays.

    After the forecast is completed the findings are presented at a conference. The audience consists of sponsors, clients and media. It is usually open to the public, but there is a fee to go.

    Kirk Lesh, senior economist explained that sponsors and clients differ because the information is meant for the public. The country, state and cities all sponsor CERF to forecast the future of the economy. Private clients request a private forecast to see their companies economic impact.

    CERF also presents their findings through essays and charts. They show their data and explain what everything means and why they have made these predictions.
    The latest forecast predicts by the ending of the third quarter, the fourth quarter will see slower growth.

    The team consists of Hamilton and, Lesh and is led by Bill Watkins. All three were formerly working for the University of California Santa Barbara, before moving to CLU four years ago. The team also works with three selected students from the school’s graduate program.

    “The biggest challenge was that the university held the intellectual property rights.

    All of the economic forecasting models we made, we had to redo,” said Lesh.

    The center publishes all reports electronically and are available on the CERF section of CLU’s website.


    Britney Zamora
    Staff Writer
    Published Oct. 17, 2012

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