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Minnesota manufacturers optimistic about 2012

Minnesota Manufacturing Industry Optimistic for 2012

Minnesota manufacturers expect business conditions in 2012 to improve or remain the same as in 2011, according to the results of a survey of randomly selected manufacturers conducted jointly by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and the Federal Reserve Bank in November.

Anticipated increases in orders, production levels, productivity and exports were given as reasons for tempered optimism about the overall state of manufacturing. Thirty percent of respondents anticipate increasing employment, and more than 60 percent plan to maintain their current staff levels.

Survey results found growth in almost every operating indicator except profits in 2011 compared to 2010. Despite the lack of profit growth, most manufacturers were optimistic and said they look ahead to growth and stability in 2012. Only a small share of manufacturers surveyed expect downturns in key indicators, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development reported.

When asked about access to bank credit, more than 60 percent of surveyed manufacturers said their access to bank credit had improved during the past three months. Forty percent of manufacturers say increased access to bank credit will affect their capital expenditures; expansion plans (28 percent); inventory levels (21 percent) and hiring (18 percent).

“Manufacturing is an integral part of the state’s economy,” said DEED Commissioner Mark Phillips, in a news release. “It’s impossible to overstate its importance in terms of wages, employment and exports, so it’s reassuring that the industry continues to grow.”

A copy of the complete report is available on the DEED website:

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more details about the agency and our services, visit us at Follow us on Twitter at

The survey, prepared by the DEED Office of Analysis and Evaluation in conjunction with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis elicited 191 responses from randomly selected Minnesota manufacturers. The sampling error is +/- 7.04 percent. 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.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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