The Most Important Things to Understand About Alaska’s Fiscal Situation

The fall in oil prices has led to growing concern among Alaskans about the state's fiscal situation. To help Alaskans better understand this critical issue, Gunnar Knapp, ISER's director and a professor of economics, has been making a presentation to organizations around Alaska.

Download the full presentation (pdf, 1.7MB) or a summary (pdf, 467.7KB), The Most Important Things to Understand About Alaska's Fiscal Situation, by Gunnar Knapp. The presentation will be updated over time. If you have questions, get in touch with Gunnar Knapp at 907-786-7717 or Gunnar.Knapp@uaa.alaska.edu.

ISER publications are solely the work of individual authors and should be attributed to them, not to ISER, the University of Alaska Anchorage, or the research sponsors.

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Alaska’s 2015 Construction Spending Forecast

Construction spending in Alaska will be an estimated $8.5 billion in 2015, down about 3% from spending in 2014. That's according to the 2015 construction spending forecast, by Scott Goldsmith and Pamela Cravez of ISER. That forecast is done annually for the Construction Industry Progress Fund and the Associated General Contractors of Alaska, with funding from Northrim Bank. The authors find:

• Overall construction spending will remain strong in 2015, despite the recent steep drop in oil prices. That's partly because there is still a backlog of projects funded under large state capital budgets in earlier years.

• Forecasting how much oil companies will spend for capital projects in Alaska is especially difficult this year. The companies had earlier announced plans to increase spending 18%. But the low oil price will likely force some cutbacks, so spending is forecast to stay about the same as last year.

• Private spending for commercial and residential construction is likely to be down in 2015, in the face of slowing job and population growth and uncertainty about oil prices.

Download Alaska's 2015 Construction Spending Forecast (pdf, 1.8MB), by Scott Goldsmith and Pamela Cravez. If you have questions, get in touch with Scott Goldsmith at osgoldsmith@uaa.alaska.edu.

A presentation given by Mouhcine Guettabi and John MacKinnon in Anchorage on January 29, 2015 and Fairbanks on January 30, 2015 is also available for download (PDF, 1.8MB).

ISER publications are solely the work of individual authors and should be attributed to them, not to ISER, the University of Alaska Anchorage, or the research sponsors.

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Maximum Sustainable Yield: FY 2016 Update

Alaska's state government could spend $4.5 billion for general expenses this year and every year long into the future, without depleting the state's petroleum assets. That's the most recent estimate of sustainable General Fund spending by Scott Goldsmith, professor emeritus of economics at ISER. He began estimating that sustainable spending level in 2012, adjusting it annually with changes in the size of state petroleum assets. He currently estimates those assets (consisting of savings accounts and expected revenues from future petroleum production) at $135 billion.

Download Dr. Goldsmith's entire paper, Maximum Sustainable Yield: FY 2016 Update and Model (Web Note No. 19) (PDF, 567.9KB). If you have questions, get in touch with Scott Goldsmith at 907-786-7720 or osgoldsmith@Alaska.edu.

ISER publications are solely the work of individual authors and should be attributed to them, not to ISER, the University of Alaska Anchorage, or the research sponsors.

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Fiscal Planning Model Available for Downloading

To help people better understand the fiscal challenges Alaska's state government faces, Scott Goldsmith, professor emeritus of economics at ISER, has created an interactive planning model Alaskans and others can download and use to investigate for themselves the implications of different assumptions about state revenues and fiscal policies. Before opening the spreadsheet, users must first "enable macros."

Download the model (Macro-enabled Excel File (.xlsm), 4.54MB)

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