INDIANAPOLIS, IN--(Marketwired - Aug 14, 2014) -
- Employment growth strong with payrolls nearing pre-recession peak
- Housing starts near 7-year high
- Auto sector expansion continue, with sales in Q2 at highest level in more than 8 years
The Indiana economy continues to perform well, with GDP expanding an above-average 2.1 percent in 2013, according to the bi-annual U.S. State Monitor Report from BMO Economics. The Hoosier economy is on pace to outperform slightly in 2014 with 2.5 percent growth, before accelerating further in 2015 along with the broader U.S. economy.
"This positive report reflects the confidence we are seeing among business and individuals throughout the state," said Tim Massey, Regional President, Indiana, BMO Harris Bank. "It shows the progress we've made in building a stronger economy and continuing to make Indiana a great place to live, work and do business."
Employment is expanding at a strong clip, with nonfarm payrolls up 1.9 percent year over year in the second quarter of 2014 to within just a few thousand jobs of the pre-recession peak. The strengthening auto sector has helped, with durable goods manufacturing employment up 3.8 percent year over year. However, the service sector has been a major contributor to job growth with employment now well above pre-recession levels.
"The Indiana unemployment rate has fallen below 6 percent for the first time in six years and, encouragingly, the labor force participation rate has begun to rise in recent months," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Adding strong 3.7 percent year-over-year wage growth to the equation leaves Indiana with one of the strongest labor market performances in the country."
Home prices are rising moderately, and the foreclosure rate has fallen sharply in the past year, but remains close to the national average at 2.8 percent. Construction activity is higher, with housing starts running near the best level in 7 years.
According to the report, U.S. auto production growth cooled last year, but output in the second quarter of 2014 was slightly above pre-recession levels; U.S. auto sales have risen to their highest level in more than 8 years. These strong sales activities are helping support production in the sector as demonstrated in recent moves made by Honda and Toyota to boost output in the state.
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, 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. 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® 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 $582 billion in assets (as of April 30, 2014).