Valley Economic Forecast Set for Release May 25 By SLAV KANDYBA Staff Reporter The second annual San Fernando Valley Economic Forecast, scheduled to be unveiled on the morning of May 25 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel, will be highlighted by a presentation from an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Dr. Gary Zimmerman will address national trends in manufacturing and high-tech, while other speakers will talk about the Valley, the county and the state. This year the program is titled “The Recovery: Breakout or More Doldrums?” Daniel Blake, director of the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at Cal State Northridge and the organizer of the event, will discuss the Valley, while Mark Schniepp, the director of The California Forecast, is slated to discuss the economic trends in the Los Angeles region and the state. Blake’s center is producing the forecast for the second time after introducing it last year in response to popular demand by businesspeople in the area. The center plans to continue to offer it every spring. Last year, the forecast was largely based on responses to two surveys of local businesses, in addition to comparisons of relationships between the Valley’s business sectors and their counterparts at the county, state and national levels. The surveys asked different-sized businesses about hiring patterns, capital spending and reflections on competition and salary growth and revenue trends. The forecast looked ahead, making projections through 2005. This year’s will go through 2007. Roberto Barragan, president of the Valley Economic Development Center and a co-sponsor of the forecast presentation, said he found last year’s forecast useful. “We find the forecast to be much more on target than any other source,” Barragan said. “We use the results of the proposals on a regular basis.” In the upcoming forecast, Barragan expects to see a report that certain segments of the Valley economy continue to grow and the housing market continues to be robust with increasing prices. “I’m interested to see the advances in entertainment and how banks are doing,” Barragan said.