Legislature's new revenue forecasting consultant 'very familiar' with commodity-based economies

Dec 11, 2017

Credit Prairie Public file

A representative of the budget consulting firm the North Dakota Legislature’s Revenue Advisory Committee hired said his firm is ready to advise Legislative leaders on  how global economic trends could impact state revenues.

The Committee hired IHS Markit to help the Legislature have its own set of budget numbers.

The state Office of Management and Budget is continuing to use Moody’s Analytics for the executive budget forecast. Some Legislators have been critical of Moody’s for missing the mark in its forecasts.

IHS Markit consulting executive director Jim Diffley said he knows how a commodity-driven economy like North Dakota’s has its ups and downs.

"Commodity prices by their nature are more volatile," Diffley said in an interview. "It's a boom-and-bust cycle that can occur.  But there is volatility across the economy."

Diffley also said he thinks international considerations are probably more important than they are in some other states.

"We'll be watching those things for sure," Diffley said.

IHS has also agreed to meet with industry and government leaders in North Dakota to get a feel of conditions on-the-ground. That’s also something Moody’s does in preparing the executive budget forecast.