May 2013

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mapping the Economy: Pitfalls and Opportunities

Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.

Location: Speakers Auditorium, GSU Student University Center | Directions »

Price: $200

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  • Rajeev Dhawan, Director and Professor, Economic Forecasting Center, Georgia State University
  • Richard Curtin, Research Professor and Director, Surveys of Consumers, University of Michigan
  • Robert A. Dye, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Comerica Bank
  • Frank K. Norton Jr. , CEO Chairman, Norton Holdings

Conference Program

8:00 a.m. Registration & Breakfast


8:30 a.m. Words of Welcome Gerald D. Gay

Professor and Chair

Department of Finance

J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Georgia State University

8:35 a.m Consumers at the Crossroad

Professor Curtin will discuss the current state of consumer demand and prospects for the future. The decline in GDP trend growth has been attributed to more cautious consumer spending and to slower growth in the labor force. Needless to say, these two trends have produced a dynamic that acts as a mutual reinforcement process. During most of the past fifty years, the opposite dynamic dominated, making the American consumer the driving force of global economic growth. Is the American consumer now poised to shed these concerns and promote a more rapid economic expansion, or will spending and labor force participation rates remain tepid? Or will the growing divide among consumers mean that both reactions will be present? Which group will dominate in the year ahead?

Richard Curtin

Research Professor and Director

Surveys of Consumers

University of Michigan


9:00 a.m. The Economy of the South,

Digging Out from the Housing Bust

Regional economic performance of Southern states and metro areas will be reviewed. The outlook for the South will be shaped by key industries, policy decisions and demographic trends.

Robert A. Dye Ph.D

Senior VP and Chief Economist

Comerica Bank

9:25 a.m. A Case for An Atlanta Construction Boom

With home rental buyers circling the market carcasses like vultures and the traditional buyers out of hibernation, Metro Atlanta Home inventory is reaching historic lows. Household formation is on the move, competitive interest rates in the cellar and metro in migration points to an extending housing shortage which could last a generation. The construction industry under normal conditions should be charging ahead with new development, but is constrained by a paralysis in the lending sector.

Is it really time for a new construction boom? Will the apartment development currently under way satisfy demand? What is holding the market in check?

Frank K. Norton, Jr.

CEO and Chairman

Norton Holdings

9:50 a.m. Q & A
10:05 a.m. Refreshments Break
10:30 a.m. Forecast of the Nation, State and Region Rajeev Dhawan

Director and Professor

Economic Forecasting Center

J. Mack Robinson College of Business

Georgia State University


11:40 a.m. Q & A Conclusion
11:50 a.m. Light Lunch & Networking

Industry Speakers

Richard Curtin

Research Professor and Director

Surveys of Consumers

University of Michigan

Richard Curtin is a Research Professor and the Director of the University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers. Professor Curtin’s monthly report on consumer confidence is one of the most closely followed economic indicators, with findings from his research extensively reported in the international media. His research is widely used by businesses and financial institutions, by federal agencies responsible for monetary and fiscal policies, as well as by academic researchers. Data from the University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers are an official component of the Index of Leading Economic Indicators.

Through frequent presentations and published articles, Professor Curtin has reported on his research in behavioral economics, including the theory and measurement of expectations, consumer saving and spending behavior, household income and wealth, reactions to change economic opportunities, public policy preferences, and entrepreneurship.

The success of this research has prompted more than five dozen other countries to implement surveys of consumer confidence patterned after the University of Michigan’s. During the past several years, Professor Curtin has consulted with scholars and government officials in several countries, helping to establish consumer surveys in China, Hungary, Jamaica, Indonesia, Russia, and Trinidad, among other countries.

He is a member of the American Economic Association, the National Association for Business Economics, the Association of Consumer Research, the International Association for Research in Economic Psychology, and a member of the Center for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys. He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis. Dr. Curtin received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Michigan in 1975.

Robert A. Dye

Senior Vice President and

Chief Economist

Comerica Bank

Robert A. Dye is Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at Comerica Bank. He leads the Comerica Economics Department, which provides research and analysis vital to Comerica and its customers, as well as business leaders and policy makers throughout the country.

Dye provides commentary and research on the U.S. economy and the economies of Texas, Arizona, California, Florida and Michigan – Comerica’s primary markets. He publishes a monthly U.S. economic update and quarterly regional economic updates targeting 10 key metropolitan statistical areas within Comerica’s footprint. His other regular publications include state-level economic indexes, Comerica’s Auto Affordability Index, daily economic alerts and the Comerica Economic Weekly. He joined Comerica in July 2011.

Previously, Dye served as Senior Vice President and Senior Economist for PNC Financial Services Group. Prior to that, he served as Vice President and Economist at Realpoint, and as Senior Economist for Moody’s and Wharton Econometrics.

Dye is on the board of directors of the National Association of Business Economics and is a member of the Economic Advisory Committee of the American Bankers Association. He is past president of the Economic Club of Pittsburgh. A graduate of Marietta College, Dye earned a BS degree in Petroleum Engineering. He holds a master’s degree in Natural Resources from Ball State University and a doctorate in Energy Management and Policy from University of Pennsylvania.

Dye is frequently quoted in national, regional and local media. You can follow him on Twitter @Comerica_Econ.

Frank K. Norton, Jr.

CEO Chairman

Norton Holdings

Georgia native, Frank K. Norton, Jr. joined his family’s business, The Norton Agency, in 1986 as manager of both Commercial and Residential Real Estate Divisions. He was promoted to President of the holding company in 1997 becoming CEO Chairman in 2007 and today manages a network of 52 associated real estate, investment and financial services businesses with an annual volume exceeding $500 million.

Well recognized for his excellent marketing skills and keen business intuition, Frank has presented, for the past 25 years, an economic forecast outlining growth and business trends for Georgia and the Southeastern United States region. The report, based on a wealth of data collected by Norton’s Native Intelligence Division, is a resource that guides many area companies and organizations in making their business decisions. He is a noted and colorful speaker on economic, demographic and real estate trends, giving 25 + talks annually.

His clients include The Atlanta Falcons, 3 School Systems, Northeast Georgia Medical Center and The Longstreet Clinic.

Frank is also partner in Southern Capital Funds, a private group of closed end real estate funds geared toward long-term and opportunistic investments throughout Georgia.

In 2007 he recast his family’s brokerage company to zero in on the troubled distressed asset market segment. Today manages and markets currently a portfolio of residential and commercial stressed assets over $300 million, 49 banks and institutions, including the FDIC, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Since 2007 the REO team has been involved in $700 million in asset product sales.

Professionally, Frank holds Broker’s licenses in the states of Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina. He is a member of the National Association of Realtors and the Council of Commercial Investment Managers.

Besides his obvious commitment to the business of Real Estate, Frank is also involved with a number of community organizations. He is an assistant Scout Master to Boy Scout Troop 16, acting as the Eagle Scout Advisor, having achieved the Eagle Scout level at the age of 13 and the designation of Boy Scout of the Year for the State of Georgia at 15. He regularly donates his “birds”, whimsical drawings he has hanging in 12 Southeastern galleries, to charitable groups for their fundraising.

He graduated from Georgia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Building Construction, College of Architecture and became, at 25, the youngest manager in the history of Coldwell Banker Richard Ellis Commercial Real Estate. Frank and his wife of 30 years, Nancy, have two daughters Teddie, and Emilie and a son, Tripp.