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New report shows some strength, but also concerns in Montana economy

BBER REPORT 2021.png
Posted at 7:53 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 21:53:40-05

MISSOULA — While Montana's overall economy shows some resiliency heading into the later stages of the pandemic, the latest report from the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) shows there are still struggles ahead for some sectors, such as food service.

Those conclusions come from the BBER's 2021 report, entitled "The Path Forward". The Bureau's researchers say some parts of Montana's economy, like construction, timber, tech and real estate are showing resiliency.

Others still struggle. That includes bars and restaurants, which Bureau Director Patrick Barkey says were "in the bullseye" when the pandemic led to shutdowns.

"I think we're going to see some familiar restaurants not make it. Some of them have already failed. But demand will be back," Barkey said.

"And the ability of our economy to reorganize, and to reboot and rebound if you will, remains strong," Barkey continued. "And I think the prospects, as long as we can get out of the morass we're in now, are relatively bright. But right now, not so much."

The report will be presented this year in a virtual, two-day seminar this coming Montana and Tuesday, instead of the usual statewide tour. Sign-ups are still available here.

BBER 2021 Report Extended Interviews