Institute For Regional Forecasting

Houston's Resource for Economic Developments,
Trends and Forecasting

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Houston Update

Dr. Bill Gilmer has written an update on the economic outlook for Houston titled "Houston’s Outlook Reshaped by COVID-19 and the Oil Collapse: Perspectives on the Economy from the Early Pandemic Data."


Webinar - May 6, 2020

Dr. Robert W. "Bill" Gilmer hosted a webinar with an update on the economy titled "Houston’s Economy in the Wake of COVID-19 and the Oil War."


Fall 2019 Bi-Annual Economic Symposium

Our Fall Symposium "Houston and Recession: Likely or Not? Domestic or Global? And Why Should We Care?" was held on Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Houston, Texas. Dr. Bill Gilmer, Director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting, was our speaker. We would like to give a big thank you to our Fall 2019 symposium sponsors and are grateful for their support.


Do Falling Oil Prices Mean Trouble Ahead for Houston's Economy?

Forbes Blog Post | By Dr. Bill Gilmer

There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about Houston’s economy: a national and global slowdown, a trade war with China, and political and economic problems emerging across Europe. For Houston, we add oil prices that have slipped from $65 per barrel in 2018 to only $57 through the first nine months of this year, and credit markets that have turned their back on the fracking industry. We are seeing an on-going credit crunch among local oil producers and service companies. Read the full article.


Read the new article published
Jan. 14, 2019:

Hurricane Harvey Final Round-Up

Hurricane Harvey and Resilience in Houston's Economy

Slide presentation by Dr. Bill Gilmer put together in January 2019 which serves as a final round-up on Hurricane Harvey.


Houston's Favorite Forecaster

Houston Chronicle profile | By John C. Roper

When Bill Gilmer stepped up to the podium on Nov. 20, 2014, for his popular semi-annual Houston regional economic forecast, he told the crowd of nearly 1,000 that he had originally planned to focus his talk on labor shortages that could hamper the region’s booming economy in the coming year.

Gilmer, the director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting at the University of Houston’s Bauer College of Business, spent months preparing his presentation, only to change it several weeks before he addressed the crowd as oil prices plummeted and caught him and other economists off guard.

"Things have changed in Houston," Gilmer told the crowd. Read the full article.


Proximity Counts: How Houston Dominates the Oil Industry

Forbes Blog Post | By Dr. Bill Gilmer

Say Detroit, and people think cars. Houston is no different. The city's oil and gas industry is a broad reflection of the industry as a whole, from the oil and gas extraction, oil services, machinery and fabricated metals that make up the upstream sector to the midstream pipeline construction and management; the Houston Ship Channel is home to a major downstream refining and petrochemical complex. This article focuses narrowly on Houston’s upstream oil business and explains why it stands well apart from other oil-producing cities like Midland, Tulsa or Oklahoma City. Read the full article.


How Houston Survived the Great Oil Bust of 2015-16

Forbes Blog Post | By Dr. Bill Gilmer

In November 2014, OPEC announced it would no longer serve as swing producer in world oil markets, triggering what would arguably become the worst downturn in the history of American oil. Based on the rate of decline of the rig count, the number of rigs left working at the worst of it, the lost oil jobs or the fall in capital expenditure, the 2015-16 oil downturn rivaled or exceeded that of the 1980s. Read the full article.


H-Town: Houston and Hurricanes

Texas A&M Real Estate Center | By Dr. Bill Gilmer

Since 1983, eight severe weather events have each caused a billion dollars or more in damages in Houston. While the city has proven economically resilient after each storm, better flood management and infrastructure remain a challenge. Read the full article.


Another OPEC Promise: Fool Me Twice, Shame On Me

Forbes Blog Post | By Dr. Bill Gilmer

OPEC is back again, with an extension of its November 2016 accord that – subject to review – will extend its existing production quotas through 2018. The oil market responded by pushing oil prices up quickly and sharply to near $60 at year end. Read the full article.


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.


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Program Manager

Patsy Woods
Phone: 713-743-3869
Email: pwoods@uh.edu
University of Houston
C. T. Bauer College Of Business
Institute for Regional Forecasting
4750 Calhoun Rd., Room 334
Houston, TX 77204-6021
www.bauer.uh.edu/irf

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Phone: 713-743-3869
Email: pwoods@uh.edu

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