BMO Economics Special Report: Solid Labor Market Supports Minnesota Growth

BMO Economics Special Report: Solid Labor Market Supports Minnesota Growth 
CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwired) -- 04/25/14 -- 

--  BMO Economics Special Report on Great Lakes region says economic
    activity will bounce back in 2014
--  GDP growth on par with national average last year, but will pick up
    the pace in 2014 and 2015

The Minnesota economy will continue to grow at a modest pace supported
by solid labor market performance, according to a special report
released today by BMO Economics on the economic output from the Great
Lakes region.  
The report, North America's Economic Engine, was released to coincide
with the Council of Great Lakes Governors meeting, taking place in
Chicago on April 25-26, 2014. The reports notes that the region is a
major driver of North American economic output, employment and trade,
accounting for nearly a third of combined Canadian and U.S. output,
jobs and exports. 
"The Great Lakes region has so much going for itself with
transportation infrastructure, advanced manufacturing, research and
development, digital manufacturing, strong locally-rooted financial
institutions, and some of the world's best post-secondary
institutions," said Ambassador David Jacobson, Vice-Chair, BMO
Financial Group. "The discussions over the next two days in Chicago
will allow us to explore opportunities to create jobs, strengthen
trade, open doors to new discoveries, and drive innovation and
prosperity for all in the region." 
In Minnesota, real GDP grew 1.7 percent in 2013, close to the
national average. Growth is expected to pick up at a 2.9 percent pace
this year and inch slightly higher to three percent in 2015.  
The state has a relatively healthy labor market, with 1.6 percent
year-over-year payroll growth in March. The jobless rate -- already
among the lowest in the 4.8 percent -- is projected to reach
4.1 percent in 2015. 
"Nonfarm payrolls have pushed to a record high in recent months, an
impressive recovery from the recession and one that has outperformed
most other Midwest states," said Michael Gregory, Head of U.S.
Economics, BMO Capital Markets. "Recent gains in Minnesota have been
seen across the spectrum of service-sector industries, including
transportation, finance, professional services and leisure and
The housing market is recovering in Minnesota; home prices across the
state are up a healthy 5.3 percent year-over-year in the fourth
quarter of 2013, according to the FHFA (Federal Housing Finance
Agency) index. According to the S&P Case-Shiller Index, Minneapolis
prices rose 9.4 percent year-over-year in January -- not as strong as
the some of the double-digit gains seen in some other major cities,
but the state had not experienced the same downturn. The state-wide
foreclosure rate sits below-average at 1.2 percent, and vacancies are
The report also notes that exports levelled off last year as
machinery shipments softened, but momentum picked up to a 5.9 percent
year-over-year pace by the fourth quarter.  
To view a full copy of the report, visit  
About BMO Capital Markets
 BMO Capital Markets is a leading,
full-service North American financial services provider, with more
than 2,300 employees operating in 16 North American offices and 29
worldwide, offering corporate, institutional and government clients
access to a complete range of investment and corporate banking
products and services. BMO Capital Markets is a member of BMO
Financial Group (NYSE: BMO) (TSX: BMO), one of the largest
diversified financial services providers in North America with US$532
billion total assets and more than 45,500 employees as at January 31,
About BMO Harris Bank 
 BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of
personal banking products and solutions through more than 600
branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin,
Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, 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.
For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact
sheet. Banking products and services are provided by BMO Harris Bank
N.A. and are subject to bank or credit approval. BMO Harris Bank(R)
is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris
Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial
organization with approximately 1,600 branches, and CDN $593 billion
in assets (as of January 31, 2014). 
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Media Contacts: 
Beth Copeland
(317) 269-1395 
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