Economic Outlook for Northern Santa Barbara County Topic of May 16 UCSB Seminar in Santa Maria

The outlook for the economy in northern Santa Barbara County in 2002 will be the topic of a special seminar to be presented by the University of California, Santa Barbara Economic Forecast Project next week in Santa Maria._x000B__x000B_Dr. Bill Watkins, executive director of the UCSB forecast project, will be among the keynote speakers at the seminar, to be held Thursday, May 16, at Marian Theatre, Allan Hancock College, 800 South College Drive in Santa Maria.

Registration and breakfast begin at 7:15 a.m.

The presentations will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude before noon. _x000B__x000B_Dr. Watkins is a former research economist at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington D.C.

He left that post in January 2000 to become head of the UCSB Economic Forecast Project, a research unit that provides regional economic data, analysis, and forecasts to the community._x000B__x000B_Dr. Watkins will assess the health of the local economy in North Santa Barbara County and discuss the prospects for growth and change in 2002. The half-day program will also feature several other speakers who will review the performances of the local, state, and national economies in 2001 and offer their views on the economic outlook for 2002._x000B__x000B_In addition to Dr. Watkins, other speakers include:_x000B__x000B_Dan Walters, a syndicated columnist whose work now appears in more than 50 California newspapers, who will speak on "California Politics 2002."_x000B__x000B_Dr. Stephen Happel, a professor of economics at Arizona State University: "Demographics of the National Economy"_x000B__x000B_Dr. Paul Murphy, director of institutional research and planning at Allan Hancock College: "The Economic Impact of Community College"_x000B__x000B_Dan Hamilton, director of economics at the UCSB Economic Forecast Project: "The Local Housing Picture"_x000B__x000B_Admission to the seminar is $75 per person and includes a copy of the book, "The 2002 North Santa Barbara County Economic Outlook," featuring more than 100 pages of data and analysis, including graphs and tables. (The book retails for $62 per copy.)_x000B__x000B_To register on line, go to To register by phone, or for more information, contact the UCSB Economic Forecast Project, (805) 893-5148; fax (805) 893-2754._x000B__x000B_Information about the Economic Forecast Project's other programs, publications, and research activities can be found on the Word Wide Web at Editors and Reporters:_x000B_Coverage of the seminar is invited_x000B__x000B_--Reporters interested in covering the seminar are asked to contact the UCSB Economic Forecast Project in advance so that a complimentary copy of the book, "The 2002 North Santa Barbara County Economic Outlook," can be reserved for them, and a press registration prepared.

Please call Dan Oh at (805) 893-5148, or e-mail him at dan.oh@ia.ucsb.edu_x000B_

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