Minneapolis Fed forecasts modest growth

Minneapolis Fed forecasts modest growth The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis announced the national and regional economic outlook for 2003 at a media briefing at the Minneapolis Fed, Dec. 11.

This forecast includes information from the Minneapolis Fed's statistical models and results from the annual business conditions outlook poll. The following information will be available in detail in the January 2003 issue of the fedgazette and is currently viewable online at minneapolisfed.org.

National Economic

Forecast:*


* Moderate growth is projected for the national economy in 2003.


* Unemployment rate will likely increase slightly.


* Gains in productivity will continue next year.


* Modest increases in the U.S. Consumer Price Index are anticipated for 2003.

District Economic Forecast:


* The district economy is expected to expand modestly in 2003, according to a poll of business leaders and the Minneapolis Fed's regional forecasting models.


* Gains in employment are predicted to come slowly across the district, while overall economic activity may pick up.


* Housing units authorized are forecast to increase in most district states.


* Wages and prices are expected to increase slowly.

District Business Leaders

Poll Results:**

Despite the threat of war and a breakdown in investor confidence, most Ninth District business leaders expect the national and district economy to strengthen in 2003. Respondents to the November business outlook poll anticipate modest growth in national economic activity and inflation.

Most are optimistic about their community's economy but still expect decreases in local employment, investment, consumer spending and housing starts. Leaders predict increasing sales and prices for their companies, but level employment and capital spending, although a war would hurt their company's financials. Meanwhile, wages are expected to increase modestly.

As one of 12 regional Reserve banks that serve as the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is responsible for making and carrying out monetary policy, supervising and regulating banks and bank holding companies, and providing financial services to depository institutions and the U. S. Treasury.

Together with its branch in Helena, MT, the Minneapolis Fed serves the Ninth Federal Reserve District, which includes Minnesota, Montana, North and South Dakota, 26 counties in northwestern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

* Forecast from national and regional models developed by researchers at the Minneapolis Fed. The models use a statistical procedure called the Bayesian vector autoregression.

** Key findings from a poll of 345 business leaders in the Ninth Federal Reserve District, conducted in November 2002.

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