Economic report is upbeat
Monday, January 10, 2011
The Central Minnesota economy is improving, but remains weak, according to the St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report.
The January 2011 report
(PDF), authored by St. Cloud State economists Rich MacDonald and King
Banaian, notes that while "overall employment gains in the private
sector remain weak, other labor market indicators are among the best
that have been seen for more than two years."
Eighty-six area firms responded to the January survey.
Key report findings:
- Recent ups and downs in the St. Cloud Area Index of Leading Economic Indicators (PDF) reveal the uneven nature of the economic recovery.
- It may take years for the area labor market to return to
pre-recession employment levels. October 2010 area private sector
employment was 83,519, 5,500 jobs fewer than in October 2007.
- Forty-one percent of surveyed firms report an increase in economic
activity over the past three months. A year ago that number was 34
- The report's Probability of Recession Index (PRI) fell below 50
percent in October, with a reading of 48.3 percent. The recession's end
will be signaled when the PRI falls below 40 percent.
- Fifty-six percent of the respondents expect conditions to improve
six months from now, while 13 percent expect a decline in future
business activity. January 2010 figures were 49 percent and 18 percent,
- The St. Cloud Times' help-wanted ad lineage has rebounded nearly 28 percent from a year ago.
St. Cloud Area Quarterly Business Report is a joint venture of the
St. Cloud Area Economic Development Partnership, Times Media and these
St. Cloud State entities: Center for Economic Education, Department of
Economics and the Social Science Research Institute.
The report is
published in ROI Central Minnesota, a Times Media publication.
doctorate is from Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Banaian holds a doctorate from Claremont Graduate School, Claremont,
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