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Economist: Mid-American economy a little stronger than the national economy

By Dave Thompson

Bismarck, ND – The economy in the nine-state Mid American region is doing a little better than the rest of the country.

So says Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who publishes the monthly "Mid-American Business Conditions Index." That index includes the Dakotas and Minnesota. Goss says October showed some recovery, despite business leaders still having a relatively pessimistic outlook. He says the outlook for the next quarter is also mixed. Goss says the economy is now in a mild recession.

"But I expect that if we don't see any more terrorist actions, any significant terrorist actions which really affect consumer confidence, then I think we're going to turn upward in perhaps the first or second quarter of next year. But if we see some real negative economic surprises, like the terrorist actions of Sept. 11, that's certainly going to affect consumer confidence again, and then the upturn in the economy is not going to be until much later. "

Goss says North Dakota's October index dropped from September's. But he says North Dakota is relatively isolated from national economic trends, and the state's service economy is doing well.