Budgeting and Forecasting

How Finance Officers can Use Economic Data & Trends to Better Understand the Economic Landscape


October 5, 2020

  • Field of Study: Finance
  • Credits: 1
  • Prerequisite: None

This webinar runs from 1:00pm to 2:00pm Eastern.

As local governments face massive revenue shortfalls and record unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, finance officers must use all of the tools and at their disposal to navigate these uncertain times. GFOA recently launched a series of economic indicator dashboards to aid finance officers in this challenging task. The dashboards include data and visualizations related to: employment, COVID-19 predictions, the market, housing, income and personal debt, and local tax revenue. The session will begin with a discussion of notable trends found in the dashboards and implications for the economy at large and discussion of  trends at the state and local level. This will be followed by a discussion with Matt Millar from Hubbard Decision Research who have been making highly-acclaimed COVID-19 forecasts since January.

The other three speakers offer different yet complementary perspectives on the topic and will share strategies local governments are employing to address the current fiscal environment. Matt Brown from DC Water will discuss how they use data to forecast the impact of COVID-19 on water consumption and re-prioritizing critical purchases and infrastructure projects based on reduced revenue. As an Economist for the City of Portland, Josh Harwood will discuss how he uses economic data and trends to forecast revenues, expenditures and hiring for the City of Portland. Nancy Zielke’s wealth of expertise in state and local government budgeting and financial management, both as a practitioner and now in her consulting role, will touch on her work driving organization change and implementation of leading-edge financial planning practices at the local level.

This webinar is the second in a series of recurring webinars that will discuss how to interpret economic (and other) indicators to understand the current fiscal environment.

Who Will Benefit: Finance Offices and analysts responsible for forecasting revenue, expenditures, and service levels

Learning Objectives:
  • Understand how to interpret macro- and microeconomic data and indices to understand the economic environment to set context.
  • Learn about how DC Water is re-prioritizing purchases and infrastructure spending in response to reduced revenue.
  • Understand the most important economic drivers for financial decision-making during uncertain times.
  • Explore how the City of Portland uses data to forecast revenues and expenditures when revenues are increasingly unstable/decreasing.

  • Member Price: $35.00
  • Non-member Price: $50.00