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Inforum, or the Interindustry Forecasting Project at the University of Maryland, was founded 45 years ago by Dr. Clopper Almon, now Professor Emeritus of the University. It is dedicated to improving business planning, government policy analysis, and the general understanding of the economic environment. Inforum accomplishes this mission through:

• Building and using structural economic models of U.S. and other economies. Inforum pioneered the construction of dynamic, interindustry, macroeconomic models which portray the economy in a unique "bottom-up" fashion.

• Working with government and private sector research sponsors to investigate a variety of issues. Economic projections and analysis using Inforum econometric models are distinguished by detail at the industrial and product level.

• Serving as a training crucible for University of Maryland graduate and undergraduate students who receive valuable training in empirical economics. Indeed, Inforum graduate research assistants have completed over 40 Ph.D. dissertations, most of which have contributed directly to the infrastructure of Inforum.

• Maintaining active and productive ties with a world-wide network of research associates, each of which uses Inforum modeling methods and software. The Inforum partners have held annual conferences since 1993 to foster cooperation and development of economic knowledge and techniques.

Since its founding in 1967 by Dr. Clopper Almon, Inforum has served government agencies and private sector entities interested in economic analysis facilitated by Inforum's approach. In particular, Interindustry-Macroeconomic (IM) models combine input-output structure with econometric equations in a dynamic and detailed framework. Because of their ability to portray the detailed structure of economies over actual time periods, these models fill an important gap in the inventory of existing models of the U.S. and foreign economies. In addition to forecasting, the models are often used to answer "what if" questions on the impact across industries of fluctuation in the macroeconomic environment, such as changes in exchange rate or tax policy.

NEWS HEADLINES

Selected news stories are listed below. A complete listing of recent news also is available.

The Supply Side of Health Care April 15, 2014 - There is a common assertion that health care is over one-sixth (or about 18 percent) of the economy. This conclusion, however, is based only on a measure of health care demand. It is much more difficult to identify a corresponding ratio in the supply side data of the economy, that is, in terms of value added and employment. Our work reconciles information about the supply and demand sides of the national health sector. We use input-output techniques to link the final demand values from the National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA) to domestic production and imports of commodities, industry value added, and industry employment.

2013 Inforum Outlook Conference December 2013 - Inforum held its 46th annual outlook conference at the University of Maryland. About 90 representatives from government, private industry, and academic organizations participated in the event. The conference agenda and other details are available, including slides and video of the outlook presentation.
Lift model used in Stanford's Energy Modeling Forum study of shale gas's effect on U.S. economy October 21, 2013 - The Washington Post's article, "The shale-gas boom won't do much for climate change. But it will make us richer", discusses the key findings of the report from Stanford's Energy Modeling Forum. Inforum worked in cooperation with Mitre to perform this research. Inforum's Lift model, along with Mitre's use of the MARKAL model, was used to study how an increase in natural gas could transform the United States economy. Some of the notable results include shale gas's impact on future carbon emissions levels and energy prices.

The Manufacturing Resurgence: What It Could Mean for the U.S. Economy March 2013 - The Aspen Institute and MAPI (Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation) partnered with Inforum to study how a manufacturing resurgence would affect the U.S. economy. The study provides policy recommendations to take advantage of current momentum and bolster manufacturing growth. Additionally, the paper compares how the economy would look following two different growth scenarios. The full paper and a press release are available.

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