The Minnesota Index increased 0.3 percent for the sixth time in the last seven months in October, verifying that Minnesota’s economy continues to expand at a healthy pace. The U.S. index increased 0.3 for the ninth straight month. The Minnesota index is up 2.0 percent over the last six months, the highest six-month gain since early 2000. Job growth was strong for the third straight month, pushing unemployment down 0.2 percentage points for the third month in a row. The only negative component of the index was that average weekly manufacturing hours slipped for the second straight month. The pace of economic growth over the last six months ensures that Minnesota GDP growth for the year will easily exceed 3 percent for the first time since 2010.
Minnesota’s index in October is up 3.4 percent from a year ago compared to the U.S. index’s 3.3 percent increase over the year. Minnesota’s index has been increasing faster than the U.S. index for the last four months, indicating that Minnesota’s economy has been expanding at a faster clip than the national economy. Both indices are real time monthly proxies for GDP growth which are subject to significant revisions as preliminary data, such as employment numbers, get revised when better data becomes available.