The radio discussion today focused on the importance of forecasts and the forecast process in decision-making, particularly budgeting. Most of this related to various aspects of the forecasting and budgeting process at the state level in North Dakota and how it impacts other entities like UND. There was also some appropriate trashing of the forecasters that gave such erroneous predictions and then decide the state is in recession. I discussed some data which I want to make available here. There is more that will be put online as I get it created.

Continue reading Biennial Revenue Comparisons (from Jarrod Thomas Show)

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I know, I know. I say I don’t like to talk about housing and here is another post about housing. One of the reasons I dislike talking about housing is that so little of the debate is grounded in any fundamentals. It is a discussion of one person’s opinion about what should happen or how the world should be versus that of another. The one thing these people usually agree about is they don’t like my opinion. C’est la vie. Moving on…

Continue reading Housing Starts Data

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Anybody listening for five minutes likely knows how little I enjoy talking about housing, in particular affordable housing. The way the Grand Forks addresses the issue is haphazard and ill-thought out, looking for answers without actually defining the problem. I am all for addressing issues, but let’s do it in a meaningful, carefully thought out way. Let’s understand the problem before we decide on a solution.

Continue reading Affordable Housing, Part Deux

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I originally gave this post the title “My new favorite graph” but figured that was too vague and nondescript. Most of my readers, and anyone who listens to the Jarrod Thomas Show (KNOX 1310 AM, Grand Forks), know I look at lots of graphs and lots of data. It is actually what I do to unwind. Pair that with the attention oil gets in the media (local and national) and you get my new favorite graph.

Continue reading Monthly change in ND oil production, 1977-2016

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What better way to start a discussion about a mistaken declaration of recession in North Dakota than with a misquote of Twain. For those interested the actual quote from Twain was “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” We have to be very careful here and define terms well to have a meaningful discussion about this. This is not meant as a “rah-rah” piece and suggest that everything is, or will be, alright. That said, I do not think the North Dakota economy is currently in recession. Nor do I think it will be this year. However, I would agree that the risks of a recession for this year, and the next, increased.

Continue reading Rumors of our recession have been greatly exaggerated

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