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Inland Empire economic outlook announced

UC Riverside Forecasting Center director predicts possibility of even lower mortgage interest rates in 2003

(November 21, 2002)

Michael J. Bazdarich, director of UCR Forecasting Center

Michael J. Bazdarich, director of UCR Forecasting Center

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - "Mortgage rates may drop into the low five-percent range for 2003,” predicts University of California, Riverside Forecasting Center Director and economist Dr. Michael Bazdarich, “and that will be of interest to people.”

His prediction for the coming year, “Bubbles and Booms … The Economic Outlook for 2003,” will be presented at the 9th Annual UCR Economic Forecast Breakfast, conducted by the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management on November 22, from 7 to 9:45 a.m. The event changes venues this year to the campus University Theatre and costs $55 per person.

Bazdarich believes that the Inland Empire “is doing much better” than elsewhere in California and said: “We're the only area in the state with noticeable job growth. Employment ought to grow in 2003 at same rate as 2002.”

Whether the rest of the talk bodes good news, neutral or bad depends upon one’s investment portfolio, point of view or comparison to what otherwise could happen.

"We will not see much improvement in the U.S. economy next year,” he estimated from his research. “I don’t see any pick-up, but then I don’t see any double-dips in the economy, either. The net result ends up being pretty much the same with no deflation and a very modest national growth.”

The perception of a current “housing bubble” will be discussed by G.U. Krueger, vice president of market research for Institutional Housing Partners, Inc., following the keynote address. Bazdarich described a bubble as the situation when home prices rise so sharply that consumers believe they must come down.

Registration information is available at (909) 787-3732.

The UCR Forecasting Center is a resource on the Inland Empire regional market. Its database includes all economic data on the region released by the federal, state and local governments, and Dr. Bazdarich forecasts the area’s economy in the monthly "Inland Empire Review" and this annual event. The center also has conducted major research projects since its inception in 1993.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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