Fiscal First Aid

Using Economic Data and Trends to Better Understand the Economic Landscape

Using Economic Data and Trends to Better Understand the Economic Landscape

As local governments face massive revenue shortfalls and record unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, finance officers must use the tools 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 various trends at the state and local level. This will be followed by a discussion with Matt Millar from Hubbard Decision Group 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 various strategies state and local governments are employing to address the current fiscal environment. Rick Mattoon from the Chicago Fed will discuss their research related to possible paths to recovery for state and local governments and how we can learn from our experiences during the Great Recession. As both finance director and economist, Glen Lee will discuss how he uses economic data and trends to forecast revenues, expenditures, and hiring for the City of Seattle. Nancy Zielke’s wealth of expertise in state and local government budgeting and financial management, both as a practitioner and now in a consulting role, will touch on her work driving organizational change and implementation of leading- edge financial planning practices at the local level.

Recorded June 17, 2020


  • Publication date: June 2020
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