40th Annual Economic Outlook Seminar Heads to 9 Montana Cities

January 08, 2015

Missoula – Will lower gasoline prices boost the state economy as consumers and businesses enjoy the savings, or will they produce an oil bust in the Bakken? 2015 is certainly a year of changing trends, and University of Montana economists and industry experts will discuss these at an upcoming seminar series held in nine Montana cities.

The UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research will take its 40th Annual Economic Outlook Seminars across Montana early in 2015. This year’s seminar, “The New American Energy Revolution: Reshaping Montana,” will focus on the changing energy sector and impacts within the U.S. and Montana.

They keynote speaker is Bill Whitsitt, a retired Devon Energy executive vice president, who has experienced up close the rapid changes in energy development. Whitsitt has returned to Montana after a long and successful career in the energy business with an inside view of how it has all come together. He will highlight what today’s technology-driven American energy revolution means to people, markets and economies, as well as to innovation in Montana and the nation.

This half-day seminar and luncheon will highlight economic trends for local, state and national economies. BBER economists Patrick Barkey and Paul Polzin will present economic forecasts for each seminar city, and industry experts will provide the outlook for Montana’s important sectors: energy, travel and recreation, health care, agriculture, real estate, manufacturing and forest products. 

The seminar runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be held in numerous Montana cities during January, February and March. Registration costs $85, which includes an economic outlook book, PowerPoint presentation book, lunch and a one-year subscription to Montana Business Quarterly, BBER’s award-winning business journal. Continuing education credits are available, and groups of five or more qualify for discounted registration.

The series begins in Missoula on Friday, Jan. 23, at the University Center on the UM campus. Following is the schedule for other seminar cities:

Helena – Tuesday, Jan. 27, Best Western Great Northern Hotel

Great Falls – Wednesday, Jan. 28, Hilton Garden Inn

Billings – Tuesday, Feb. 3, Crowne Plaza

Bozeman – Wednesday, Feb. 4, The Commons at Baxter & Love

Butte – Thursday, Feb. 5, La Quinta Inn

Kalispell – Friday, Feb. 13, Hilton Garden Inn

Sidney – Tuesday, March 17, USDA/ARS

Miles City – Wednesday, March 18, Bureau of Land Management

The UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research is a research center that has provided information about Montana’s state and local economies for more than 50 years. For more information or to register, visit BBER online at http://www.bber.umt.edu/ or call 406-243-5113.  


Contact: Rob Van Driest, interim marketing director, UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research, 406-243-5113, rob.vandriest@business.umt.edu.