SOURCE: BMO Harris Bank

BMO Harris Bank

August 14, 2014 09:47 ET

BMO Economics: Kansas Economy to Pick Up Pace in 2015, Growing at 2.5 Percent

LEAWOOD, KS--(Marketwired - Aug 14, 2014) -

  • Job growth remains moderate
  • Unemployment remains well below national average
  • Housing price performance throughout economic cycle fared much better than average

The Kansas economy is on pace to grow 1.7 percent in 2014, slightly below the expected national average, before trending up to 2.5 percent in 2015. As the recovery progresses, GDP in Kansas for 2014 and into next year is expected to grow just under the national average, according to the bi-annual U.S. State Monitor Report from BMO Economics.

A bright spot is the continued decline in the unemployment rate; June saw a near six-year low of 4.9 percent. Job growth for Kansas remains modest, with nonfarm payrolls up 1.2 percent year over year in Q2. Construction jobs have jumped 7 percent in the past year and the service sector continues to pump out steady gains. These have helped offset the weakness in manufacturing employment, which remains an area of weakness despite a rebound in production, down 1.8 percent year over year.

"While growth for this year is expected to come in just slightly below the national average, we're on track for a solid year in 2015," said Brad Smith, Regional President, Kansas City, BMO Harris Bank. "It's encouraging to see that our jobless rate is a standout among other states, and this reflects a trend in businesses growing their labor force and investing in new talent."

Since the Kansas housing market wasn't hit as hard during the slump, prices haven't posted the big gains as seen in other markets. However, they remain less than 2 percent under their peak.

"Housing starts remain volatile after a harsh winter through much of the Midwest, but the twelve-month average has softened somewhat from activity seen through mid-2013," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets.

The harsh winter delayed spring planting across much of the U.S., but a number of crops have caught up to five-year averages. Farm incomes could come under pressure this year with the Department of Agriculture forecasting lower wheat, soybean and corn prices.

To view a full copy of the report, visit www.bmocm.com/economics

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® and BMO Harris Bank® are trade names 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 $582 billion in assets (as of April 30, 2014).

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