After first doing economic forecasts in his classroom, Chapman University President Emeritus Jim Doti delivered his 45th economic forecast last December.
On June 22, Doti and professors Raymond Sfeir and Fadel N. Lawandy will give the 45th Economic Forecast Update at Musco Center for the Arts. They will look back to their December forecasts and look toward the second half of 2023.
Last December, Doti projected a recession by the middle of this year. In February he, Sfeir and Lawandy made their case for a 2023 recession in the Orange County Business Journal.
“Of course, we may be wrong. In spite of the fact it’s never happened before, Jerome Powell and his colleagues on the Fed might be the first to pull off a soft landing,” they wrote. “But even if it does, the sharp drop in residential spending that has already occurred means that we’re in for a bumpy ride, one that’s pointing south.”
Doti and his colleagues in December forecasted a drop in Orange County’s median home price and residential permits and lagging advanced industries jobs.
In April Doti, Sfeir, Assistant Professor Marshall Toplansky and University of California, Irvine’s Ken Murphy wrote in the OCBJ about the decrease in advanced workers in Orange County. Advanced industries include technology, aerospace, scientific research and medicine. The percentage of advanced jobs in Orange County has declined steadily since 2005, according to the OCBJ data.
“We propose that the leadership of OC’s engineering, science, and business colleges, in consort with the leading public-private partnerships, meet as a Task Force to prepare a plan of action,” they wrote. “Such a report should include a vision for how Orange County can become a leader in the creation of advanced industries.”
In his December forecast, Doti said Orange County median home prices would drop to $933,000 by the middle this year, trending down from their $1 million-plus peak a year ago. In March, the median sold price was $975,000. Although buyers may be heartened by price drops, inventory is still low in the region.
Doti and Chapman’s Anderson Center for Economic Research measure Chapman’s forecast accuracy against the forecasts of 25 other agencies that measure the same economic markers. Doti’s rankings, which are published in the center’s Economic & Business Review, show that Chapman’s forecast has been No. 1 in accurately predicting real gross domestic product (GDP) from 2004 to 2021. Other forecasters – including names like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley – all participate in the industry-standard Blue Chip economic survey.