ForecastSF 2013 Points to Continued Economic Growth

New San Francisco Economic Forecast Reveals Strong Per Capita Income Growth; Peter Gruebele of Wells Fargo Named Chair-elect of San Francisco Chamber of Commerce

San Francisco, September 11, 2013 – More than 300 business and civic leaders convened today at ForecastSF 2013, the region’s leading economic forecast and jobs summit, presented by Wells Fargo in partnership with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and its foundation partner, the San Francisco Center for Economic Development.

Innovation, talent and economic growth were the key themes of this year’s program, featuring remarks from San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee; Wells Fargo Chief Economist John Silvia; entrepreneur and Google[x] Vice President Megan Smith; University of California, Berkeley Professor and author of “The New Geography of Jobs,” Enrico Moretti; Webcor Builders Senior Vice President and Chair of the Chamber’s newly formed BuildSF Council Shelley Doran and a panel of building-industry experts.

“San Francisco is leading the nation in job growth because of the efforts we have undertaken to create a strong climate for investment,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “But now is not the time to rest on our success, now is the time double down on that success and tackle our challenges head on to make sure our City continues to move forward.”

San Francisco’s economy remains strong and poised for continued growth, according to the economic forecast presented by Wells Fargo. Despite concerns over housing affordability, improvements in per capita income, the labor market, and the housing market bode well for sustained growth in the years to come. The city’s well-educated workforce, boosted by a prominent tech sector, is also expected to bolster the local economy.

“The good news is that San Francisco’s economy continues to outpace growth in the state and the nation, with strong per capita income and strength in the labor and housing markets,” said John Silvia, chief economist, Wells Fargo. “However, housing affordability issues remain as home prices are rising.”

This year’s event also spotlighted the geography of jobs and the ecosystem of talent that is helping to keep the Bay Area on a trajectory of economic growth. During his remarks, University of California, Berkeley Professor and author of “The New Geography of Jobs,” Enrico Moretti, explained the competitive advantage provided by the city’s creative talent and the factors that might keep this human capital in the city.

“The most important effect of high tech companies on the San Francisco labor market is for workers employed outside the high tech sector,” said Mr. Moretti.

ForecastSF also put a focus on development boosting the city economy. A panel discussion on San Francisco’s development underscored the importance of construction projects to a growing and healthy economy. The panel discussed current major projects including the waterfront Warriors Arena, Moscone Center Expansion, T-Line Extension, and the economic impacts they will deliver for San Francisco.

“Building on Chamber’s history of championing economic development and job creation, our new initiative, BuildSF has convened the best minds in the industry to review, support and optimize the economic value of San Francisco’s current development boom,” said Shelley Doran, senior vice president, Webcor Builders and chair of the Chamber’s newly formed BuildSF Council.

During this year’s ForecastSF, the Chamber also announced Peter Gruebele, executive vice president of the Wells Fargo Regional Commercial Bank in San Francisco, as chair-elect of its board of directors. Mr. Gruebele brings more than 15 years’ management experience to the Chamber and is active in several other prestigious organizations including the John Muir Health Foundation. Mr. Gruebele will follow the leadership of 2013 Chamber Board Chair Greg Cosko, president & CEO, Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction, and will assume his post in February 2014 at the Chamber’s Annual CityBeat Breakfast event.

“The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and Wells Fargo each have been helping businesses prosper for more than 160 years,” said Mr. Gruebele. “As chair-elect, I look forward to working with business and civic leaders with the goal of fostering economic growth and job creation for San Francisco in the years to come.”

“San Francisco’s continued economic growth is fueled by the engagement and contributions of our city’s diverse business community,” said Bob Linscheid, president & CEO, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber thanks our Chair Greg Cosko, welcomes Chair-elect Peter Gruebele, and thanks Wells Fargo, CPMC Sutter Health, Dignity Health, Gensler, Moss Adams LLP, and all the supporters who have made ForecastSF possible.”

ForecastSF is presented by Wells Fargo, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and its foundation partner, the San Francisco Center for Economic Development. More information on ForecastSF is available at: http://www.sfchamber.com/eventsprogs/events/forecast_sf.

The Wells Fargo Economic Forecast is available upon request.

More information on the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce is available at: www.SFChamber.com.

More information on the San Francisco Center for Economic Development is available at: www.sfced.org.

Founded in 1850, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce is recognized as the pre-eminent business organization for advocacy, networking and economic growth. The Chamber delivers on its mission to attract, develop and retain business in San Francisco by representing companies and organizations that make San Francisco a preferred destination for businesses and visitors – a great place to live and work. More information is available at www.SFChamber.com.