Montana's economic outlook has darkened during the past year as a national economic slowdown concentrated in a few industries spread to more and more sectors. The Bureau slightly lowered its forecast at midyear 2008 to account for the deterioration then present. The current forecast calls for barely positive growth in 2009, with modest accelerations to 2.2% in 2012. The house price bubble is bursting in Montana, but the impacts so far are not as disastrous as elsewhere in the nation. In addition to the events in the basic industries, there is now an additional negative factor impacting Montana's economy -- abysmal consumer sentiment. The economic slowdown began earlier in Missoula than in other counties and is likely to last longer. Flathead County was one of the fastest growing areas in Montana. But repeated blows during 2008 resulted in a 1.1% decline in the overall economy. The current recession will likely have a relatively small impact on the Helena-area economy.
The Montana Outlook: Changing Conditions Lead to Changed Forecast Paul E Polzin Montana Business Quarterly; Spring
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