Matt Murray News

Report: Economy Shows Signs of Strength, Finds “Firm Footing”

Falling unemployment rates, an increase in vehicle sales, and a long-awaited rebound in the residential housing market are all indications that the national and state economies are making a comeback. Despite sequestration of federal spending and a payroll tax increase that have slowed consumer spending, the economy is poised for strong growth in both 2014 and 2015, according to the spring 2013 Tennessee Business and Economic Outlook released today by UT’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

Baker Center to Host Panel on Transportation Issues

A panel of transportation experts and economists will meet on Wednesday, April 17, to discuss “Taxes, Green Vehicles, and the Death of Tennessee Transportation.” The panel discussion will be from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. in the Toyota Auditorium in the Baker Center. It is free and open to the public. The discussion will be moderated by Baker Scholars Eric Dixon, senior in philosophy, and Caleb Williford, senior in logistics.

What’s Your Big Idea?—Matt Murray

Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are sharing the big ideas that make a difference in their world. Matt Murray, director of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, speaks about the big idea of the Baker Center’s Distinguished Lecture Series which kicks off for this year on April 3 with a talk by U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.

Report: 2013 Will See Slower Economic Growth Followed by an Increase in 2014

The US and Tennessee economies continue to dig their way out from the Great Recession, but they will be digging at a slower pace this year than last. The debate over the nation’s debt ceiling, the looming risk of sequestration of federal spending, and the payroll tax increase contribute to the slowdown in predicted gains, according to the forecast in the 2013 Economic Report to the Governor of the State of Tennessee, released today.

UT to Host Public Event to Watch, Discuss October 3 Presidential Debate

Students and members of the community are invited to the Baker Center to watch the upcoming presidential debate and discuss it via videoconference with crowds gathered statewide. DebateWatch begins at 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 3, in the Baker Center’s Toyota Auditorium, with a viewing of the first of the 2012 presidential debates, moderated by Jim Lehrer of “PBS NewsHour.”

Report: Hopes for Rapid 2012 Economic Growth ‘Dashed’; Small Gains Persist

CBER Spring Report

Hopes for accelerated growth this year in the state and national economies “have been dashed,” due to the sluggish creation of jobs, according to a report by the Center for Business and Economic Research. But it’s not all bad news. The unemployment rate is steadily decreasing, jobs have been growing, the housing market continues to address its long-standing pressures, and the financial health of states has improved—all key indicators of economic recovery.

Baker Center and Ambassador Ashe Establish Lecture Series

A new lecture series will bring government leaders, past and present, to UT Knoxville to discuss policy issues affecting our city, nation, and world. The ambassadorial and local government lecture series is named in honor of Victor H. Ashe, former Knoxville mayor and U.S. ambassador to Poland. It will be held at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

UT Report: Solar Growing as Viable US Energy Source


Solar power is a viable energy source for the nation, and its use is rapidly growing in the U.S. as federal incentives—similar to those that helped other energy markets to develop—are put in place. That is the message of “Assessment of Incentives and Employment Impacts of Solar Industry Deployment,” a report commissioned by the Solar Energy Industry Association. The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy administered funding for the research and the report.

UT Team Takes on Energy Department’s Rooftop Solar Challenge

Rooftop Solar Panels

How can we make it easier and more affordable to use solar power in our homes? UT Knoxville is part of a national effort to find out. The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy is participating in the US Department of Energy’s Rooftop Solar Challenge, an effort to encourage wider use of solar energy by streamlining the permitting processes, cutting red tape, and lowering the costs for rooftop solar systems.

UT Economists Say State, National Economies Improving Slowly

Slowly and somewhat unsteadily, Tennessee and the U.S. are recovering from the Great Recession. That’s the cautiously optimistic prediction in the 2012 Economic Report to the Governor, released today by the Center for Business and Economic Research at UT Knoxville.