Institute For Regional Forecasting

Houston's Resource for Economic Developments,
Trends and Forecasting

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Fall 2016 Symposium Registration Open

Our fall symposium "Waiting on Oil Markets: Houston's Economy Seeks Direction" is scheduled for Thursday, November 10, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1200 Louisiana Street, Houston, Texas. Dr. Bill Gilmer, Director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting, will be our speaker. For more information regarding the topic of discussion, please visit our symposium information page. Please register online or call us at 713-743-3869. Early bird pricing for individual seating is available through 5 p.m., October 21, 2016. We would like to thank our fall 2016 symposium sponsors and are grateful for their support.

Read the new article published
September 6, 2016:

Houston Economic Update: A Summer Lost in Limbo?

Houston Update

Dr. Bill Gilmer has written an update on the economic outlook for Houston titled "Houston Economic Update: A Summer Lost in Limbo?."

The slides are available in PDF form below:


Spring 2016 Symposium

The Institute for Regional Forecasting just held its bi-annual symposium on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Houston Hotel. The title of this symposium was “Houston’s Economy Absorbs the Big Blow from Oil in 2015: Who Shares the Pain in 2016?” and was presented by Dr. Bill Gilmer, our director.

We will be offering Dr. Gilmer’s entire PowerPoint® slide show along with his text for each slide in our publication “CD-Houston”. The cost of the CD is $49.00 plus 8.25% sales tax. If you’d like to order one please call our office at 713-743-3869 or email Patsy Woods at

Spring 2016 Symposium Video

Our spring symposium was held on May 17, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The subject of the symposium was "Houston's Economy Absorbs the Big Blow from Oil in 2015: Who Shares the Pain in 2016?"

Watch the Video: 2016 Spring Symposium

Econ 101 And The Oil Markets: Where Are We? And How Did We Get Here?

Forbes Blog Post | By Dr. Bill Gilmer

Forecasting the future is next to impossible. It is hard enough just to figure out where you are and how you got there. But I think we can find some perspective on current oil markets by applying the elementary logic of Econ 101 to the current price collapse. Throw in a few facts about the size of oil markets and how they work, apply a little informed speculation and we actually know a lot about where oil prices are and why – and even where prices are going. Read the full article.

Why Are Oil Prices So Hard To Forecast?

Forbes Blog Post | By Dr. Bill Gilmer

For the oil forecasting community, the most recent collapse in oil prices marks one more failure. The long trail of forecast errors includes the market implosions of 1982 and 1986, not seeing the run-up in commodity prices after 2004 and now missing the end of the same commodity boom. For those of us who depend on oil price forecasts, this is a big problem. Read the full article.

Upstream Bust Meets Downstream Boom In Houston:
The East Side Earns Some Respect

Forbes Blog Post | By Dr. Bill Gilmer

The oil industry divides itself between upstream exploration, production and oil services, and downstream refining and petrochemical operations that turn crude oil and natural gas into useful products. Since 1980, Houston’s upstream sector has been through five major downturns in drilling, all with adverse consequences for the local economy. The current drilling downturn — the worst since the 1980’s – has hit Houston’s West Side particularly hard. Read the full article.

Texas Triangle: Economic Engine of the Southwest

Read the new article published Feb. 16, 2015:

Texas Triangle: Economic Engine of the Southwest

Just published by the Texas A&M University Real Estate Center: Texas' four largest metros (Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio) function as one large economic entity with each playing complementary roles. Together, they represent 68 percent of Texas jobs and 73 percent of the state's income.

Save the Dates

We have finalized the date for our Fall 2016 symposia. It will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1200 Louisiana, Houston, Texas in the Imperial Ballroom. The symposium topic will be announced at a later date along with registration information, but please make sure you save the date on your calendar:

  • Thursday, November 10, 2016
  • 2017 bi-annual symposia dates to be determined.

Contact Us

Program Manager

Patsy Woods
Phone: 713-743-3869
University of Houston
C. T. Bauer College Of Business
Institute for Regional Forecasting
4750 Calhoun Rd., Room 334
Houston, TX 77204-6021

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