Economic Outlook

The Economic Outlook quarterly report uses the North Dakota Forecast Model developed by the NDSU Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise to predict economic trends for the state of North Dakota and its three largest metropolitan statistical areas: Fargo, ND-MN; Bismarck, ND; and Grand Forks, ND-MN. The model uses past trends and empirical relationships in data to predict (forecast) future trends. These forecasts focus on key economic indicators such as wage growth, labor force participation, unemployment, and the housing price index. Like all forecast models, this method faces limitations and the specific values in the forecast should not be direct cause for decision-making. Rather, forecasting provides information about what is possible and can help establish expectations. The Economic Outlook report is released each quarter with updated data from the forecast model.

New Report

Economic Outlook: Q3 2021

North Dakota Forecast Model  |  Released August 2021

Full Report

Key Points
  • North Dakota’s economy shows signs of stagnation and a slowing economic recovery. The North Dakota Forecast Model is predicting declines in gross state product, labor force participation, and total wages and salaries. Despite this, a steady trend for total tax collections is promising.

  • The Fargo and Grand Forks metro areas show positive signs of recovery and growth, specifically in the labor force and housing prices. Projections for Bismarck have moderated since the previous report with most economic indicators expected to remain relatively unchanged.

  • This report represents forecasts based on the most recently available data when the model was run in August 2021. These forecasts serve as a projection for how the economy will respond to current economic conditions based on historical data and trends.

Previous Reports

Economic Outlook: Q2 2021

              Released May 2021

Economic Outlook: Q1 2021

              Released February 2021

Economic Outlook: Q4 2020

Released November 2020

Economic Outlook: COVID-19

Updated August 2020

Economic Outlook: Q3 2020

Released August 2020

Economic Outlook: Q2 2020

Released April 2020


The views expressed in these reports belong to the researchers and do not represent the views of North Dakota State University.

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