By Neil Nisperos, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 09/23/15 – 8:02 PM PDT |

RIVERSIDE >> A new Inland Empire-based research center for economic forecasting will open in October, the School of Business Administration at the University of California, Riverside, announced this week.

The Center for Economic Forecasting and Development, officials said, aims to create 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.

“Now we have a formal research center research institution by the University of California and we are going to continually generate economic reports and have CEO roundtables,” said Yunzeng Wang, dean of the School of Business Administration at UC Riverside. “The research center will take on leadership discussion for the economy whether for the short term and the long term. (We want to explore) what is the optimal structure of the economy beyond the supply chain.”

Economist Christopher Thornberg, the center’s newly appointed director, is a founding partner of the Los Angeles-based research firm Beacon Economics, which partners with the university’s business school for an annual economic conference. Thornberg also will become an adjunct professor at the UC Riverside School of Business Administration.

“We’ll start reaching out to policy makers and various development folks, and working with them to bring in more and more university work to the local economy, and vice versa, more of the local economy to the university,” Thornberg said. “It’s a symbiotic relationship, what the university does and what it represented to the broader world around it. For us, we’re thrilled that this relationship is going to the next level.”

Thornberg said Riverside and San Bernardino counties make up an economic area that is larger than Detroit, Seattle, San Diego, or Orange County.

“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,” he said.

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