The Minnesota Index advanced for the 28th straight month in December, climbing 0.2 percent. The pace of economic growth inched up in December but remained sustainably slower than during the middle of the year when the index was advancing on average by 0.4 percent monthly. A small change in wage and salary employment and unchanged unemployment rate restricted growth in the index despite a small uptick in average weekly manufacturing hours.
The Minnesota index was up 3.8 percent from a year ago while the U.S. index was up 2.8 percent. Minnesota’s index, on an annual average basis, increased 3.7 percent in 2018 compared to the 2.9 increase for the U.S. index. Last year was the second year in a row that Minnesota’s index increased 3.7 percent on an annual average basis. The index advanced 4.7 percent in 2014, 4.0 percent in 2015, 2.1 percent in 2016, and 3.7 percent in 2017.