North Dakota's economy expands in February

Mar 1, 2018

North Dakota's economy grew during the month of February.

The state's reading on the Business Conditions Index, a monthly survey of Midwestern supply managers, rose to 53.3 in February from 49.6 in January. Any reading over 50 indicates economic growth. Creighton University economics professor Dr. Ernie Goss conducts the monthly survey. He says the survey indicates the manufacturing and energy sectors are expanding, but there were some warning signals regarding the inflation gauge.

"The Federal Reserve watches that, and they watch other indicators. Yesterday, Jerome Powell, the new head of the Federal Reserve indicated that maybe the Fed would be raising rates by four times instead of three times, which is what the market expected. The reason they're raising rates on the short end is because they're seeing more inflationary pressures, so to nip that in the bud they're going to raising rates and I think they're going to be raising them more aggressively than we saw last year at this time."

Goss says across the region, rural areas are struggling due to low agricultural prices, while energy sectors are expanding as fuel prices increase. He says states like North Dakota with large energy sectors should continue to strengthen in the months ahead.