Minnesota's manufacturing sector continues to signal economic expansion, but the rate of growth is flagging according to the latest Business Conditions Index report from Creighton University.
In September, the survey of factory managers in Minnesota signaled economic growth for the 26th straight month. However, the state's index fell from 56.3 in August to 55.3 last month. A score above 50 indicates growth.
Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss said the survey suggests there will be layoffs at Minnesota factories in coming months, though the state's overall economy will still see some job gains.
"It's not anything to write home about," Goss said. The unemployment rate is likely to tick up in the next three to six months as new individuals enter into the labor market, he said.
"The outlook is deteriorating," he said. "In fact, our business confidence index is down to levels we haven't seen since early 2009 or in the middle of the recession."
Manufacturing linked to agriculture, which is strong in the state, is still likely to grow, he said. Goss said he sees little chance of a second recession in the region in the near term. Instead, he expects more anemic growth.