Illinois Economy Growing At Modest Pace - BMO Economics

           Illinois Economy Growing At Modest Pace - BMO Economics

- Home prices gaining traction

- Factory activity ebbing with global slowdown

- State budget cuts continue

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Nov. 13, 2012

CHICAGO, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Economic growth remains unsteady in
Illinois, with cooling factory output and State budget cuts weighing, though
the housing market is finding some momentum according to the State Monitor
report released by BMO Capital Markets Economics.

Employment growth is rocky, with nonfarm payrolls falling 3 of 6 months
through September, leaving employment up 0.9% year-over-year. Government and
construction sector employment is down 0.7% and 4.4% in the past year due to
combined state and local government payrolls hitting low levels. Although job
growth is choppy, manufacturing continues to recover up 3.7% amid a recent
surge in the nondurable sector, while finance industry employment has also
turned up in the past year.

"Our commercial customers are cautiously optimistic about a business-led
recovery here in Illinois," said Dave Casper, Executive Vice President and
Head of Commercial Banking, BMO Harris Bank."Our local expertise, sector
knowledge and mid-market focus are real advantages to helping our customers
find solutions as they invest and upgrade their businesses."

Exports hit a record level in Q2, but growth has slowed significantly to 6.6%
from more than 30% in the same quarter last year. Major exports such as
machinery and electronics have also slowed amid less global demand. A positive
note is that Google will shift 3,000 jobs to downtown Chicago next year.

"The housing market in Illinois is gradually healing, with existing home sales
jumping nearly 16% in September," said Dr. Sherry Cooper, Chief Economist, BMO
Financial Group."Although the state remains among the highest stress markets
in the country there are concrete signs of stabilization with prices jumping
almost 6% between March and July."

The full State Monitor report can be downloaded at

About BMO Harris Bank
Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal
banking products and solutions through over 600 branches and approximately
1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota,
Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team
provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market
focus throughout the U.S. Deposit and loan products and services provided by
BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank^smisa trade name used by
BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North
American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base
of approximately $180 billion.

SOURCE BMO Harris Bank

Contact: Vanessa Hall, +1-312-461-6543,
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