Indiana Economic Growth Remains Solid Employment Growth Strong

- Momentum persists in auto sector

- Low stress in housing market

- Budget surplus will return funds to taxpayers

INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Economic growth remains solid in Indiana as the auto-sector recovery continues and government job cuts have subsided, according to the State Monitor Report released today by BMO Capital Markets Economics.

Employment continues to expand at a solid clip, up 2.3 percent year over year in September, but the jobless rate still remains stuck above 8 percent. The job growth is relatively broad based, with manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, auto sector, professional services, health and education all expanding. However, retail employment continues to fall and government payrolls are also depressed.

"We are seeing more and more customers expanding and investigating opportunities to grow as we see the economy ease up," said Tim Massey, Regional President for BMO Harris Bank. "With our local knowledge backed by national industry expertise, we are ready to help find solutions as businesses plan for the future."

The housing market remains soft in Indiana, but home prices appear to have stabilized and were up 0.3 percent year-over-year in the second quarter. While the downturn was not as harsh as in some other states, the foreclosure rate is still elevated at 4.6 percent, though finally showing signs of edging down in recent quarters. "The more muted price correction has placed less stress on the market than in many other states; for example, little more than 9 percent of mortgages are in a negative equity position, compared to more than 20 percent nationally," said Dr. Sherry Cooper, Chief Economist, BMO Financial Group. "Overall, Indiana's housing market exhibits relatively solid economic trends that could soon translate into some upward momentum."

U.S. auto sales rose in September to the highest level in four and a half years. This has supported auto production and benefited Indiana's industrial base. Recent moves by Honda and Toyota to boost output in the state are encouraging.

The State boasts a $2.1 billion budget surplus, about $360 million of which will be returned to taxpayers through a tax refund of more than $100 per taxpayer in 2013.

The full State Monitor report can be downloaded at www.bmocm.com/economics.

About BMO Harris Bank
Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris BankSM is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base of approximately $180 billion

SOURCE BMO Harris Bank



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