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Economic indicator signals Minn. growth for 18th consecutive month

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For the eighteenth consecutive month a leading economic indicator for Minnesota was signaling growth in January. 

The Minnesota Business Conditions index, based on a survey of supply managers, climbed to 55.2 in January, up from December's 52. Scores above 50 indicate economic growth. 

The index is compiled at Creighton University. Its creator, economics professor Ernie Goss, said expansions among firms tied to agriculture and international markets have played a big role in Minnesota's recent growth. 

Goss expects the state to continue to add jobs in the first half of 2011 -- and at a faster rate than in last half of 2010.

Business conditions in the index's nine-state mid-America region improved for a third straight month in January. The index indicates that economic activity in the region will continue to expand at a healthy pace but with the potential for higher inflation in the first half of the year.

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      Online:       Creighton Economic Forecasting Group

             (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)