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How COVID-19 Has Reshaped the Economy

February 1-2, 2021


46th Annual Economic Outlook Seminar


A Special Two-Day Online Event on the Outlook for the Economy

Economic Outlook Seminar 2021

This two-day seminar highlights the latest economic trends for local economies and the state of Montana.

The Path Forward: How COVID-19 Has Reshaped the Economy

2020 was poised to be a good year for Montana’s economy. But then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit American shores. By early spring, the U.S. had declared a state of emergency and states began taking action – limiting economic activity, closing schools and issuing stay-at-home orders. Travel was restricted or outright banned, and airlines and interstate travel took sharp hits. By April, states were hit with record unemployment as real economic change took hold.

Join us for the 2021 Economic Outlook Seminar as we examine how COVID-19 has affected the economy and how we can move forward.

This year’s seminar will take place over two days via our new online platform, with the ability to network and connect with other attendees, presenters and sponsors.

Why Attend EOS 2021?

BBER economists will present national, state and local economic forecasts for Montana’s largest communities and industry experts will give their outlook for the state’s important sectors, including tourism, health care, real estate and housing, agriculture, manufacturing, high-tech and forest products.

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Where Can I Attend?

For the first time, EOS 2021 will be hosted online. Our program will offer attendees the ability to attend the sessions of their choice, as well as connect in a variety of innovative ways via our interactive online platform. There will be options for live text messaging and/or video chats with other attendees, presenters and sponsors.

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Keynote Speakers

A special two-day event with nationally recognized keynote speakers.

As the economy emerges from the sharpest, swiftest, most severe downturn in modern history, the challenges for Montana and its local communities are daunting. But the opportunities will be could be just as great. Join us for what is certain to be a timely and unique program that examines the myths and the realities of how the economic landscape has been reshaped by the pandemic experience.

For the first time, the BBER’s 46th annual Economic Outlook Seminar brings two nationally recognized keynote speakers to our program:

Edward Glaeser

Ed Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1992. He has been influential and pioneering in advancing ideas on economic growth, and has been a champion of cities as generators of ideas and wealth. The question of how COVID-19 has reshaped growth patterns in ways that might be felt in a state like ours is certain to receive his attention.

Neel Kashkari

Neel Kashkari has served as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, whose region encompasses Montana, since 2016. As a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, he has had a seat at the table in making the extraordinary decisions that have stabilized and supported financial markets during this extraordinary time. His remarks will address the factors and issues that continue to shape the regional and national economic outlook.

We have revamped and expanded our program this year to embrace the online format. The 2021 Economic Outlook Seminar will be a two-day event, delivered to a statewide audience. The first day will be a full-day program featuring our two keynote speakers, state economic outlook, and industry outlooks. Day two will feature a full slate of outlook programs, which drill down to the individual cities around the state.

Attendees to EOS 2021 will enter our special two-day online event, with the ability to network with other attendees, talk to speakers and sponsors, and watch presentations at later times. Continuing education credit are also available.

Subscribe to get updates on EOS 2021.

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Seminar Program

Economists will give their outlook for the state’s important sectors.

Day One

February 1, 2021

8:45 am
Welcome to EOS 2021

9:00 am
Keynote Townhall
Edward Glaeser & Bob Rowe

10:00 am
U.S. Economic Outlook Townhall
Neel Kashkari & Sarah Walsh

11:00 am
Montana Economic Outlook
Patrick Barkey

11:50 am
Lunch break

1:00 pm
Industry Outlook Presentations
Health care, tourism and agriculture

2:10 pm
Industry Outlook Presentations
Wood products, high-tech and real estate

3:10 pm
Panel Discussions

Day Two

February 2, 2021

8:45 am
Local Economic Outlooks

9:00 am

9:40 am
Great Falls

10:20 am
Missoula & Ravalli County

11:00 am

11:40 am
Bozeman & Big Sky

12:20 pm

1:00 pm

1:40 pm
Lewistown & Havre

2:20 pm
Sidney and Miles City

3:10 pm
Close and raffle drawing

Seminar Sponsors

The Speakers

Our lineup of speakers include industry and economic experts focused on Montana.

Patrick Barkey

Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research

Robert Sonora

Director of health care research and associate director at BBER

Christina Henderson

Executive director of the Montana High Tech Business Alliance

Todd Morgan

Director of forestry research and associate director at BBER

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Registration Opens November 16

Don’t forget to mark your calendar for this special two-day online event.


Get the latest information on EOS 2021, plus articles from our speakers.

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