Falling oil prices cloud the forecast for Houston economy The recent sharp drop in oil prices is clouding the region’s economic forecast, potentially threatening to curtail employment growth across industries and perhaps even slow down the multifamily real estate segment, a prominent local economist said Thursday. The sudden change in winds caught Bill Gilmer, director of the Institute for Regional Forecasting at the University of Houston, off-guard. Gilmer said during his semi-annual report on the state of the local economy that he had to alter the presentation he’d had ready several weeks ago as the price of crude tumbled into the mid-$70s. “Things have changed in Houston,” Gilmer told a crowd of more than 900 at the Hyatt Regency downtown. “And they changed fast.” Gilmer didn’t declare doom and gloom and he doesn’t see the region losing a substantial number of jobs any time soon. But he […]