Federal Reserve Bank forecasts growth for Minn. economy

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis is forecasting moderate growth for the Minnesota economy this year.

The bank's economists project employment in the state will grow by 1.2 percent. Meanwhile, they forecast the unemployment rate will drop a bit to 4.3 percent by the fourth quarter of this year.

"It looks like the economic expansion will continue at a moderate pace in Minnesota for 2014," said Toby Madden, a regional economist with the bank. "Business leaders are optimistic for this year. Manufacturing is continuing its upward trend. Home building is in recovery."

The bank's survey of businesses found optimism about the Twin Cities economy was at a seven-year high, with 68 percent of respondents feeling bullish. In Greater Minnesota, 78 percent of respondents said they expect local economies to improve.

Businesses also said they expect it'll be harder to find qualified workers but indicated they only plan to offer modest wage increases of three percent or less.

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