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Bozeman looks toward future at economic outlook seminar

Posted at 6:53 PM, Feb 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-06 20:53:01-05

BOZEMAN, Mont. – It’s been called the fastest-growing community in the state. With its booming economy, Bozeman saw the University of Montana’s 44th Economic Outlook Seminar come to town Wednesday.

As always, tourism, Montana State University, and access to healthcare are some of the reasons for Bozeman’s growth, but the biggest is the emergence of the tech industry,

“One component is manufacturing like lightwave photon groups. The other part of the high tech industry is software that includes firms like Oracle and Zoot,” said Paul Polzin, Director, Bureau of Business and Economic Research University of Montana.

The Bozeman economy and the support that surrounds it seems to all be positive, but with this much success comes growing pains and with growing pains comes uncertainty.

“High tech is growing, they need workers, and these workers need someplace to live,” Polzin said. “Housing prices and growth in housing prices has been very rapid here in Bozeman making affordability an important issue.”

This uncertainty could play in the future health of the local and national economy.

“Our short term economic data is very strong and positive but there some real storm clouds out there having to do with the debt, world economy, and technical factors like the inverted heel curve,” said Polzin. “That is one of the reasons why we’re forecasting slower growth for Bozeman, Montana, and the United States.”

Polzin also said that economic growth is also responsible for the growth that Bozeman Yellowstone international airport has seen the last few years.