The Minnesota Index after surging in November moved sideways in December. An uptick in the unemployment rate and a sharp drop in average weekly manufacturing hours offset expanding wage and salary employment to keep December’s index unchanged from the previous month. The U.S. index increased 0.2 percent for the sixth month in a row.
Minnesota’s index was up 2.8 percent when measured from December 2015 to December 2016. By that measure, Minnesota’s economic growth was just below U.S. growth which increased 2.9 percent over the same period. Minnesota’s relative economic performance however was slightly weaker than the nation’s when annual averages for the indexes are compared. Annual average growth for Minnesota’s index was 2.7 percent viruses 3.0 percent for the U.S. Economic growth in Minnesota in 2016 was the weakest since 2010 no matter which method was used to calculated annual growth.
The U.S. Index climbed 0.2 percent for the 12th month in a row in November. Minnesota’s monthly gauge of economic growth hasn’t outpaced the national rate by this wide of margin since September 2011. Minnesota’s index was up 2.6 percent from a year ago while the U.S. index was up 2.9 percent 12 months ago.