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  • Talk on trends, tech at Economic Outlook Forum

  • Talk on trends, tech at Economic Outlook Forum

    Talk on trends, tech at Economic Outlook Forum

    Growth was a theme at this year’s Economic Outlook Forum, as 500 attendees learned what’s happening around both our state and nation.

    Marshal Albright, Cass County Electric, and Scott Green, Starion Bank, offered comments from their industries as sponsors and served as emcees.

    Joe Morrissette, ND’s OMB director, shared a look at the state economy, noting a remarkable shift over the last 10 years, with economic output almost doubling, and agriculture and mining sectors growing, as well as the GDP. He noted how the state’s oil boom affected our economy over the past decade and just how strong it made us, saying that if North Dakota was a country, we would be in the top 12.

    He also shared a look at the state’s budget priorities, which include better forecasting practices, limiting growth in ongoing spending, balancing revenues and expenses, using the Legacy Fund for one-time investments with lasting impact, and restoring the state savings account.

    Rich Karlgaard took the stage for a keynote address about recent national trends and how technology has shaped economics. He believes that growth will slow to about 2% in 2019 due to bad weather across the board and the government shutdown. He also offered commentary on national debt, interest rates and other current events. “This isn’t catastrophically bad news,” he said, “but a slow down from where we were, and a better rate of growth from where we were.”

    He then took a look at digital transformations in businesses, talking about a new engine of disruption that includes the rapid rate of improvement in data, computing and AI. This can actually help businesses harness their own growth and transform to stay competitive. “If you’re getting smarter at a slower rate than your competitors, it doesn’t take many years for the gap to widen and suddenly you’re in a bad position,” he said. “We’re in the beginning years of a transformation. All parts of the economy, all industries, are getting smarter, but at variable rates.”

    To succeed, Karlgaard says companies must be adaptable and digitally fluent, and CEOs must have strategy, execution, values and trust.


    Check out these Tweets from attendees!

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