The Twin Cities economy is expected to experience stronger growth over the next several months according to the prediction of the Twin Cities Index of Leading Economic Indicators (LEI). The Twin Cities LEI rose by 3.40 points in this year’s second quarter as three of the five index components increased. The LEI is now 6.2 percent below its level of one year ago. Accounting for the increase in the index are higher residential building permits in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), a rise in new business filings, and recent improvement in a general measure of statewide business conditions. A second measure of general business conditions was basically neutral in the second quarter. Higher initial jobless claims in the Twin Cities planning area were the one index component with a significant negative value in the second quarter.
There were 10,306 new business filings with the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in the seven-county metro area in the second quarter of 2015—representing a 1.7 percent increase from one year ago. There were 1,504 new regional business incorporations in the second quarter, a 3.8 percent increase over year ago levels. Second quarter new LLC filings in the seven-county metro area were up 2.7 percent—rising to 6,310. New assumed names totaled 2,061 in this year’s second quarter—a reduction of 3.9 percent from the second quarter of 2014. There were 431 new filings for non-profits in the Twin Cities in the second quarter of 2015, 8.6 percent more filings than one year earlier.
Twin Cities employment increased by 0.9 percent over the year ending June 2015. The regional unemployment rate was 3.7 percent in June, an improvement on its 4.0 percent reading one year earlier. June 2015 initial claims for unemployment insurance were higher than year ago levels, rising by 1 percent to 8,185. Average weekly wages in the Twin Cities planning area are now $1,149, a 4.3 percent increase from one year earlier. The labor force expanded in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area by 0.6 percent over the past year. Average weekly hours worked declined in the metro area and the relative cost of living in both Minneapolis and St. Paul appears to have declined. The value of residential building permits rose by 1 percent in the Twin Cities MSA.
MacDonald, Richard A. and Banaian, King, "Twin Cities Area Economic and Business Conditions Report - Second Quarter 2015" (2015). Twin Cities Minnesota Economic and Business Conditions Report. 6.