North Dakota economy surging ahead
Despite several challenges, the regional economy – including North Dakota – is booming.
Dr. Ernie Goss conducts the monthly Business Conditions Index, a survey of regional supply managers in the Midwest. North Dakota’s reading on the Index in May rose to 75.2, up from its April reading of 74.3. Any reading above 50 indicates economic growth.
Goss says while the economy is surging, there are some “flies in the ointment,” including a shortage of workers and supply bottlenecks across all economic sectors. One challenge he says is hitting economy wide is the hunt for qualified workers; though he does say employees who are coming to work are being compensated well.
Goss says he also expects interest rates to stay low for the summer – but by the end of the year, that may change.
"Long term interest rates - we're likely to see those move higher, but the Federal Reserve is doing what we call 'monetizing the debt,' in other words - they're out there buying bonds, keeping rates low. So we're looking at interest rates inching forward, so now is the time to borrow whether you're a business, family or individual. Interest rates are not going to be this low, certainly later on this year."
Goss says he also expects the majority of schools to be open in the fall with face-to-face learning, which is also supportive of parents in the labor force.