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BBER 'road show' gives economic outlook in Lewistown

BBER Road Show comes to Lewistown
Posted at 4:33 PM, Mar 12, 2024

LEWISTOWN — In the video above, Paul Sanchez reports on a team from the University of Montana visiting Lewistown to share their 2024 economic outlook for Montana. Each year, the school's Bureau of Business & Economic Research (BBER) hosts an economic outlook seminar in several towns to inform Montanans about the economic climate in which they live and work.

Here is the summary provided by Paul Sanchez:

The 49th Annual Economic Outlook Seminar, Bureau of Business and Economic Research Roadshow has been traveling around Montana and now they have come to Lewistown to share previous and upcoming economic information that may affect this region.

Samuel Scott from the University on Montana says we do it each year at the beginning of the year, we call it our Economic Outlook seminar. We travel around Montana, kind of city to city. We switch it up a little bit each year, but we try to hit all the bigger towns and some of the smaller ones to get a good geographic spread. And we just talk about the economics of the state as far as what happened last year, kind of what we think is going to happen this year, answer people's questions, really get out there and do some outreach and listen to what people are experiencing throughout the state from a from an economics perspective.

Joel Schumacher at Montana State shares this is really a fun tour for myself to be on. Not only do I get to engage with the other presenters and learn a lot from them both during that and then during breaks and things, but also a lot of the attendees at these workshops have, you know, bits of information that we wouldn't know if we didn't get out and visit with folks. So it's always interesting to learn something from a local business owner or a chamber of commerce, you know, some friends in realty from someone who's working in a local market. So all of those things, you know, we incorporate into some of the things that that we're sharing at future communities, from learning from all these local experts as well.

This roadshow is presenting an economic outlook on a variety of industries affecting each community they visit.

The Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana Patrick Barkey says AG commodities prices really aren't too bad, But there's been so much volatility. Yes, wheat prices were over 12 bucks for a while during the Russia invasion and so forth. So a lot of volatility. They look lower. Of course, they're a little bit higher that today. That's what we are there. And lumber prices have come back down there on the metal side, these prices are actually pretty low.

The BBR roadshow is reaching out to rural communities, sharing their research, analysis and forecasting the economic climate in which we live and work. For more information, Click Here.