The Minnesota Index increased 0.2 percent for the second straight month in November. Minnesota’s economic expansion has slowed over the last two months according to the index, having increased by 0.3 percent each month between May and September. Job growth, however, continued at a robust pace, the unemployment rate dipped again, and average weekly manufacturing hours inched up in November. Minnesota’s index in November is up 3.2 percent from a year ago, matching the 3.2 percent gain in the U.S. index since last November. Minnesota’s index has, however, been advancing slower than the U.S. index over the last few months.
Minnesota’s economic expansion is now five years old with most signs pointing to another year of solid economic growth on tap for 2015. The Minnesota Index is up 15.2 percent over the last five years which exceeds the 13.9 percent U.S. index increase over the same time period. The 15.2 percent gain is substantially larger than the 10.6 percent jump experienced during the six year expansion from 2002 to 2008. Minnesota’s index increased 10.6 percent between 2002 and 2008 while the U.S. index increased by 13.9 percent over the same span.