Solid economic growth
Friday, December 28, 2012
Solid economic growth suggests the St. Cloud area economy is experiencing "a full-blown expansion," according to St. Cloud State economists King Banaian and Rich MacDonald.
Employment statistics, the St. Cloud Index of Leading Economic Indicators and survey data reported in the latest St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report (QBR) mean the local economy "is expected to remain strong over the next several months."
Private sector employment grew at a 3.1 percent rate in the year ending October 2012. Education and healthcare employment grew at an annualized rate of 5.9 percent. The St. Cloud Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose in the latest quarter to an historic high. And, 60 percent of the 82 firms survey by the QBR experienced improved business activity during the past three months.
Casting a shadow over the area's economic resurgence are the federal budget cuts and tax increases known collectively as the "fiscal cliff." Congress and President Barack Obama are working to mitigate negative economic effects that could flow from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and planned spending cuts in the Budget Control Act of 2011.
Central Minnesota's definitive, survey-based analysis of economic activity is published by Times Media, Greater St. Cloud Development Corp., and these St. Cloud State entities: Center for Economic Education, Department of Economics and the School of Public Affairs.
Read a feature story about QBR authors MacDonald and Banaian. MacDonald's doctorate is from Binghamton University, State University of New York. Banaian holds a doctorate from Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, Calif.