|[January 18, 2013]
Economic Optimism Wanes in Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS --(Business Wire)--
Minnesota's economy is regressing after pessimism about its business
climate more than doubled from one year ago at this time, according to Twin (News - Alert)
Cities Business's quarterly economic indicator survey completed by
571 businesses across the state in mid-December.
Results from the survey - which asks business leaders about their plans
for the next three months - are used to tabulate the Minnesota
Economic Outlook Index. For the first quarter of 2013, the index
dropped to 49.9, down from 51.2 in the fourth quarter of 2012, 53.2 in
the same period one year ago, and an average of 53 during all of 2012.
An index above 50 indicates economic expansion; below signals
The current index reflects a slight scaling back of early 2013 budget
plans by many business leaders, and may be temporary. The survey behind
it was conducted before 'fiscal cliff' fears were at least temporarily
alleviated, but after November's re-election of President Barack Obama
and closer to home, elections that led to a DFL-controlled legislature.
Concerns about these developments, the prospect of increasing government
regulations and taxes, and the overall dismal state of politics in
general were voiced most frequently when business leaders shared their
greatest challenge for this quarter.
The other most-common challenges had to do with growing revenues,
managing rowth and taking on increasing competition; and finding
qualified talent while improving retention, focus and productivity among
Twin Cities Business's February edition, on newsstands the last
week of January, contains more details (an advance copy of the story is
available online at http://bit.ly/106a3AQ).
Among them: The percentage of respondents who expect business conditions
in Minnesota to worsen by March 31 (25%) is more than twice what it was
a year ago and is the highest it has been in four quarters, while the
percentage of respondents expecting conditions to improve (30 percent)
is the lowest during the same period. Hiring is also expected to slow
this quarter, while expectations of increased capital expenditures,
higher revenues, and better operating profit margins all dropped to
their weakest levels in four quarters. (Tables showing how these
findings compare with previous quarters are available at http://bit.ly/SeuM6s;
for a look at how industries and counties compare, go to http://bit.ly/XklLpR).
Twin Cities Business's Minnesota Economic Outlook Index is the
only leading indicator of what business leaders across the state are
planning for the immediate quarter. The current index is a result of a
survey asking 11 questions of 15,750 Minnesota business leaders. The
Minnesota Chamber of Commerce provided some of the e-mail addresses used
in this outreach. A total of 571 businesses responded.
About Twin Cities Business
Cities Business publishes news, analysis, features, and commentary
about the state's most interesting business issues, leaders, and
opportunities daily at TCBmag.com,
twice weekly in its "Briefcase" e-newsletter, and monthly through
the award-winning Twin Cities Business magazine.
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