Monday, August 03, 2009

Another sign we're lagging 

I think this provides some evidence of my point that the local economy turns around later than the national -- and perhaps even the regional -- economy.

The Business Conditions Index for the nine-state Midwest and Plains region climbed to 51.7 in July, up from 49.3 in the prior month. An index of 50 is considered growth-neutral. Omaha, Neb.-based Creighton University compiles the report, using data collected from surveys of business leaders and suppliers. July marked the first month since August 2008 that the region-wide index crossed the 50 mark.

Minnesota�s index climbed slightly to 45.2 in July, up from 43.9 in the prior month. The state�s score has stood below 50 for each of the past 12 months. Minnesota was one of four states with scores of less than 50 in July. Other states falling into that category include Arkansas, Iowa and Kansas.

�I expect Minnesota�s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to peak at 8.9 percent, its highest level since 1982, in the fourth quarter of this year. Minnesota will continue to lose jobs, both manufacturing and non-manufacturing, in the months ahead. However, the pace of these job losses will diminish significantly from that experienced earlier this year,� Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss said in a press statement.

Prof. Goss has yet to update his website with the state-by-state data, but the Kansas City Star has the state-by-state summaries via press releases. So while the survey in aggregate looks good, it's got four of five states going from below neutral to above this month for the first time since 2008. It's really much more of a mixed bag than the headlines (particularly those of you outside those four states still below 50) will show.

Labels: ,