Strong economic growth
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Rich MacDonald, economics professor and co-author of the St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report.
Survey research and employment statistics suggest the Central Minnesota economy has experienced strong growth, according to St. Cloud State economics professors King Banaian and Rich MacDonald.
Local employment grew 3.5 percent in the year ending July 2012 and local private-sector hiring grew 4.2 percent in the same period, according to the St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report (QBR) published this week.
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 entitities: Center for Economic Education, Department of Economics and the School of Public Affairs.
St. Cloud's private-sector employment is nearly at the level observed in July 2007, prior to the Great Recession.
"Indeed, the index on current employment is the highest ever recorded in the 14 years we have been administering the survey," write MacDonald and Banaian. Read a feature story about the QBR economists.
Some findings from a survey of 76 area businesses and government economic statistics:
- Professional and business service employment grew at an annual pace of 8.4 percent
- Nearly 60 percent of surveyed firms report improved business activity over the last three months
- The St. Cloud Index of Leading Economics Indicators (PDF) rose sharply last quarter to pre-recession levels
- The Probability of Recession Index suggests a minimal possibility of recession in the next four to six months
View a few of the QBR's tables and charts, in PDF format:
- Key results of the survey
- Current business activity
- Local, Twin Cities and Minnesota employment trends
St. Cloud State University