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CMU holds economic forecast forum for business leaders

Perry appointed to key state-wide economic committee prior to event

CMU Professor of Economics Nathan Perry, PhD was appointed to the Colorado Governor’s Committee for Revenue Estimating. Reasons for his appointment were clear as Perry presented research to the Grand Valley business community on Thursday, February 11. His report on local economic trends was part of the second annual CMU economic forecast forum presented by Bray Real Estate. Perry was joined by more than two hundred business leaders and elected officials as he shared economic trends intended to help local leaders plan for the future. In addition to Perry’s presentation, officials at Bray also presented a publication called the Bray Report — an annual assessment of the local residential and commercial real estate trends in western Colorado.

CMU President Tim Foster welcomed the business community to campus during an introduction of Perry.

“We are proud of the work Dr. Perry conducts on behalf of CMU and the community,” said Foster. “This level of granular economic research and analysis has not been conducted before at the local level. CMU is in a unique position to provide this kind of information to rural communities so that local government partners and employers can use this information to inform planning for the future.”

Perry’s appointment to the statewide economic forecasting advisory committee will allow him to use research conducted at CMU to inform reports that Colorado lawmakers and elected leaders will use to establish state fiscal policy and investment.

"I'm looking forward to helping the governor's office create the best revenue and economic forecasts they can by bringing insight into the Western Slope economy," said Perry.

During the economic forum Perry highlighted that the Mesa County Economy remains strong, with healthcare leading the way. While some job losses have occurred in the energy sector, the losses have been muted by outstanding gains in construction and healthcare.  Foster believes that Perry’s data reinforces the efforts CMU is making to grow health-related programs and infrastructure at CMU.

“Acquiring funding for our proposed physician assistant and occupational therapy building is a top priority for CMU, local health providers and those rural communities facing a shortage of physician assistants,” said Foster. “Perry’s assessment that healthcare plays a growing and outsized role in the current and future local economy is information that will help acquire funding for this critical project.”

In addition to the annual economic forecast forum, Perry provides quarterly economic newsletters for Montrose, Delta and Mesa Counties. Community members interested in following economic trends in western Colorado are encouraged to subscribe to Perry’s newsletter and follow his video updates at CMUnow.

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Written by David Ludlam