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Idaho’s top economist retiring after decades at post

BOISE – Idaho’s chief economist Mike Ferguson is retiring at month’s end.

Ferguson has been the state’s top economic forecaster since 1984, surviving five governors starting with John Evans even as the office changed hands from Democrat to Republican in 1994.

It was Ferguson’s job to monitor macroeconomic events and forecast how much tax revenue Idaho would reap annually, to help lawmakers and governors set budgets.

For two years, his forecasts missed actual state revenue totals, prompting criticism from some lawmakers he was too optimistic amid turbulence that accompanied the 2008 financial crisis and collapse of the housing bubble.

The 60-year-old, an avid cyclist and kayaker, says he’ll now decompress from the economic turmoil that turned his stomach like a roller coaster in recent years.

Ferguson says, “It was gut-wrenching, absolutely gut-wrenching.”


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