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Volume 57, Number 4, Winter  2019

The Year In Review


Patrick M. Barkey, Brandon Bridge

The year in review has sections covering Statewide Economic Performance: Montana''s Growth Engine is Humming, The Performance of the BBER Forecast: Improving Accuracy, Montana''s Cities and Regions: Gallatin County Now State''s Second Largest, State Revenue Report: Another Strong Year, Major Economic Events of 2019: Another Year of Growth.

The U.S. Economic Outlook

Is Global Growth Rebounding?


Patrick M. Barkey

of last year was how much longer could the U.S. economy continue to ride high as the rest of the world seemed to be faltering? Just a few short months ago, we thought the answer was clear ? not much longer. But much has changed in just a few months. Here are the top 10 predictions for the U.S. and global economies for 2020 courtesy of our friends at IHS Markit.

Finding Good Workers

Finding the Best Solution for Montana


Patrick M. Barkey

After more than a decade of economic growth that has featured strong hiring and steadily falling unemployment rates, labor markets across the country and certainly across Montana are tight. For some the supply of suitable workers for their openings has shrunk to the point where they are questioning how they can continue to fill orders, let alone capitalize on new opportunities. The data agree with this assessment ? at least to a point.

How Does Montana''s Tax System Measure Up?

An Overview of Montana Taxes


Douglas J. Young

Taxes are an important and often contentious public policy issue. What one pays and what those taxes pay for varies state to state. So, how does Montana?s tax system compare to other states?

Assessing Montana''s Key Industries


George Haynes, Kate Fuller, Todd Morgan, Kate Marcille, Steven Hayes, Bill Whitsitt, Robert Sonora, Norma Nickerson, Jeremy Sage, Kara Grau, Paul Polzin, Christina Quick Henderson, Brandon Bridge

This article looks at nine of Montana''s key industries; Farming and Ranching: Price Declines and Exports Make for a Challenging Year, Forest Products: Positive Signs for Montana, Energy: What to Watch for in 2020, Manufacturing: Montana Outpaces Nation as a Whole, Travel, Tourism and Recreation: Nonresident Visitation Stable, Health Care: The Impact of Medicaid Expansion, Transportation and Logistics: A Shortage of Drivers Continues to Cause Concern, Technology and Innovation: Record Revenue, Jobs and Venture Capital Investment, Real Estate and Construction: Housing Markets Lack Inventory.

The Trade War Comes to Montana

Tariffs Hit Farmers, Ranchers and Manufacturing


Robert Sonora and Brigitta Miranda-Freer

In early 2018, the Trump administration announced its first round of trade tariffs ? none of the administration?s trade policies have been ratified by Congress. The first round began in January 2018 on consumer appliances, and was quickly followed by tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. In May 2019, an additional $50 billion in tariffs were added on Chinese imports. The repercussions of these restrictive trade policies resulted in predicted retaliatory tariffs on U.S. exports. The impacts of these tariffs are being passed on and paid for by U.S. consumers ? because tariffs lead to higher domestic prices for protected goods.