News Release

Economy remains strong

Monday, September 16, 2013

King Banaian, economics professor and co-author of St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report

King Banaian, economics professor and co-author of St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report.

King Banaian, economics professor and co-author of St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report Rich MacDonald, economics professor and co-author of St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report 

A decline in unemployment, an increase in the labor force and an overall employment increase suggest a strong future for the Central Minnesota economy, according to authors of the most recent St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report (QBR).

  • The July unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, down from 5.9 percent a year ago
  • Area employment grew at a 3-percent rate over the year ending in July
  • Every employment sector, save manufacturing (down 0.3 percent), saw increases over the year ending in July

"Survey results of the future outlook are very optimistic," said Rich MacDonald and King Banaian, St. Cloud State economics professors and QBR authors. "Forty percent of surveyed firms expect to add to payrolls by February 2014, and only 11 percent expect their work force to shrink."

More than 40 percent of the 73 area businesses that responded to the survey increased capital expenditures in August, compared to May. More than 56 percent of responding firms expect their business activity to increase by February. Just 16 percent expect activity at their businesses to decline by February. 

Other QBR findings:

  • St. Cloud Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose in the quarter ending in August
  • St. Cloud Area Probability of Recession Index suggests no recession is expected for the remainder of 2013 

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.

The QBR has been produced four times a year since January 1999. Access past editions at http://repository.stcloudstate.edu/scqbr.

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