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Top three Michigan universities to give economic forecasting for Detroit

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Posted at 10:57 AM, Jul 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-15 10:57:51-04

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WXYZ) — The University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Michigan State University will partner to give economic data -- which will be used to evaluate local economic conditions and plan for an improvement in economic opportunities -- to Detroit through the City of Detroit University Economic Partnership.

The project aims to accomplish three tasks: provide an economic forecast for Detroit each year; build an econometric forecasting model for Detroit's economy and the city's major tax revenues; and to develop local economic indicators, indices and reports.

University of Michigan's Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics will lead the partnership, while Michigan State University will give revenue modeling and forecasting through its Center for Local Government Finance and Policy. Wayne State University's contribution will focus on providing data on housing and property tax modeling.

The project also allows the schools to collaborate with the city's Chief Financial Officer's budget office.

"Since exiting bankruptcy just five years ago, we have completed a remarkable turnaround in the way we manage the city's finances and we are now moving forward in a fiscally responsible way, but we are always looking for ways to improve," Detroit's Chief Financial Officer David Massaron said in a press release. "Thanks to this partnership with the universities, we will gain access to even better data, allowing us to make strategic decisions that will ultimately improve the quality of life for Detroiters."

In result of the project, the universities will be able to give scenario analysis and create forecasting models for the city of Detroit.

Michigan State and Wayne State have previous experience creating economic analyses using local governments' internal data. Available data will also come from government agencies and initiatives including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Internal Revenue Service and the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.

"We'll combine the city's internal data with publicly available data to construct Detroit-specific estimates of building activity, measures of activity in residential and commercial real estate, total commerce and tourism activity," Allen Goodman, director of the master's program in economics at Wayne State, said in a press release.