The Minnesota Index advanced 0.3 percent for the seventh straight month in in February. February’s advance was surprising since two of the components – wage and salary employment, and the unemployment rate – were either unchanged or negative in February. Increasing income from raising wage and salary disbursements and a slight gain in average weekly manufacturing hours, the two other components, kept the index climbing last month. The U.S index rose 0.2 percent for the third consecutive month. Minnesota’s index has advanced faster than the national index in five out of the last six months indicating that the state’s economy has outperformed the national economy over the last six months.
Minnesota’s index was up 3.2 percent over the year compared to a 2.8 percent gain for the national index. Minnesota’s economy looks to have expanded by more than 3 percent for the second year in a row last year based on based on the Minnesota Index increase. The advance estimate of 2013 GDP growth for the state will be released in June. The state’s GDP last grow by more than 3 percent two years in a row in 2003-04.
See the feature article from the Minnesota Employment Review, May 2010, for more information on the Minnesota Index.