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2014 Economic Outlook: Part 1

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We are going to talk about the economic outlook for the state of Montana in 2014.

Here to talk about it are a highly respected Montana economist and the founder of a highly successful technology company based in Bozeman.

Dr. Patrick Barkey heads up the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research, a highly respected agency that has been issuing economic reports for decades.

Greg Gianforte, founder of RightNow Technologies, is the classic entrepreneurial success story.  Gianforte started the company in a spare bedroom in 1997 and by the time the company was acquired by Oracle for more than $1.8 billion in 2012, it was Bozeman's largest commercial employer and the only publicly traded technology company in the state.

 

 

Story by Don Dunwell, Beartooth NBC.
Copyright ©2014 Beartooth Communications Company. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

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mikeatvoices Tuesday Feb. 25th, 2014 - 10:59am
Great story and even better news for our state! However, it is a bit disappointing that tourism wasn't mentioned once in the discussion. As recently reported by the Univ. of MT Institute for Tourism & Recreation Research, Montana's non-resident tourism industry welcomed over 11 million visitors to our state in 2013 and they generated approximately $3.5 billion in revenue.

Additionally, in a 2012 summary of commodity exports (excluding bulk grain) from the MT Department of Commerce, if measured as a service export, the $369.6 million spent by our international visitors alone that year would have been second only to our state's export of mineral fuels.

As recurring drops in commodity prices hit industries such as energy, timber, mining and agriculture especially hard as Dr. Barkey mentioned, non-resident tourism has added a more stable diversity (and, in some cases, an alternative) to many local economies around the state that have taken the brunt of these recent (and inevitable) declines. Understanding that growth in Montana's tourism industry, both positive & negative, is almost exclusively driven (externally) by U.S. consumer confidence and spending, we should all be incredibly optimistic for tourism's economic contribution to our state in the coming year as both of these economic indicators are expected to rise in 2014.
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Don Dunwell, Dunwell Report, Dr Pat Barkey, RightNow Technologies, Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Greg Gianforte

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