The economy has been in a rough state of flux during the past year and a half, but business owners and policymakers have had to forge ahead and make the best of a bad situation. To make the best planning decisions possible, good information is needed, and over the years, many organizations in the region have turned to the UCSB Economic Forecast.

A fixture in Santa Barbara since 1981, the UCSB Economic Forecast will hold its annual seminar beginning at 7 a.m. Thursday in The Granada, 1216 State St.

Since its inception, the forecast has been a unique tool in keeping communities in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties up to date on the latest economic, demographic and business trends. With a variety of statistical data and interpretation available, everyone from business owners to county administrators can keep tabs on the regional economy’s pulse as they make policy and investment decisions.

A number of community sponsors support the UCSB Economic Forecast, including Noozhawk, making it possible for the project to deeply analyze such economic facets as prices, interest rates, employment levels, retail sales, housing prices, home building activity, commercial building activity, population growth, income levels and tourism.

The project offers three-year, short-term forecasts, and ten-year, long-term forecasts, as well as a forecast model databank spanning back to 1985.

The event will begin with breakfast at 7 a.m., followed by speakers at 8 a.m. and concluding at 11 a.m.

This year’s featured speakers will include syndicated columnist Dan Walters, Beacon Economics founder Chris Thornberg, California State Controller John Chiang, Beacon Economics researcher Brad Kemp, and Peter Rupert, a professor and vice chair of UCSB’s Economics Department.

For more information or to register, click here, call 805.965.3023 or e-mail

Noozhawk staff writer Ben Preston can be reached at