Wisconsin Economy Continues Slow Expansion - BMO Economics

          Wisconsin Economy Continues Slow Expansion - BMO Economics

- Manufacturing continues to add jobs

- Less wounded housing market than in other states

- Construction and real estate employment still sliding

PR Newswire

MILWAUKEE, Nov. 13, 2012

MILWAUKEE, Nov.13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --The Wisconsin economy is expanding at
a somewhat sluggish pace, and has struggled to gather any sustained momentum
given declining factory activity, according to the State Monitor report
released today by BMO Capital Markets Economics. Real GDP will likely expand
1.2% this year, up marginally from 1.1% registered last year.

Exports growth slowed to 4.2% in Q2, the coolest pace since the end of 2009,
as machinery and electronic equipment shipments have leveled off alongside
softer global demand. In the meantime, the Milwaukee PMI rebounded in
September, but continues to point to contracting factory activity.

"While the economy is growing at a slower pace than expected, our commercial
customers continue to express optimism and confidence in the state's economic
resiliency," said Jeff Ticknor, Managing Director and Head of Diversified
Industries, Wisconsin, 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".

Wisconsin was not nearly as affected by the housing bubble as many other parts
of the country and continues to sport a below-average foreclosure rate of
3.2%. Prices have begun to stabilize, with the index barely below prior-year
levels in Q2 alongside stabilizing inventories.

"Wisconsin's fiscal situation remains relatively favorable, with the shortfall
at a below-average 11% of budget and a fully-funded pension liability," said
Dr. Sherry Cooper, Chief Economist, BMO Financial Group. "Employment has
stagnated but the jobless rate remains at 7.3% as of September, well below the
national average.

Manufacturing continues to gradually add jobs despite slipping in July, while
wholesale trade, education and health care are seeing solid growth. While
Wisconsin's housing market was not nearly as hard-hit as other states,
construction and real estate employment continues to plunge.

The full State Monitor report can be downloaded at www.bmocm.com/economics.

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

Website: http://www.harrisbank.com
Contact: Vanessa Hall, Vanessa1.Hall@harrisbank.com, +1-312-461-6543
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