Friday, March 05, 2021

Economic Outlook Seminar looks at COVID effects

by Daily Inter Lake
| January 31, 2021 12:00 AM

The University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research will hold its 46th Annual Economic Outlook Seminar virtually on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 1 and 2.

The focus of the two-day online event will be the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Montana’s cities and regions.

“This pandemic-induced economic downturn bears little resemblance to previous downturns,” said Patrick Barkey, director of the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research. “A recession that has humbled once thought to be recession-proof industries like health care, while at the same time pumping up demand for housing and durable goods – which generally suffer when economic uncertainty spikes – throws a curve ball at historical patterns of economic vulnerability.”

This two-day virtual event titled “The Path Forward: How COVID-19 Has Reshaped the Economy,” features UM economists and industry experts and two nationally recognized keynote speakers who will discuss the many ways the coronavirus pandemic has impacted Montana's economy. The seminar also includes local speakers from communities throughout Montana.

Day one will include keynote speakers Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and Edward Glaeser, an economics professor at Harvard University. The speakers will discuss how the Montana economy will emerge from the sharpest, swiftest and most severe economic downturn in modern history. They will focus on the challenges Montana will face and what opportunities lie ahead.

Local industry experts will give their outlooks for Montana’s various sectors, including health care, forest products, tourism, real estate, agriculture, high-tech and manufacturing industries.

On day two, presenters will go over individual outlooks for Montana’s major regions. There will also be panel discussions on “Small Business Survival Stories” led by area businesses describing how they fared during the past months and what kinds of lessons they learned.

Registration costs $70 for individuals and $50 per person for groups of five or more. Registration for Montana University System faculty, staff and students is $25. Attendees will receive a special issue of the Montana Business Quarterly featuring the 2021 Montana economic report, a copy of presenter slide presentations and a one-year subscription to Montana Business Quarterly. Continuing education credits also are available.

For more information or to register, visit