Illinois Economy Growing At Modest Pace - BMO Economics

- Home prices gaining traction

- Factory activity ebbing with global slowdown

- State budget cuts continue

Nov 13, 2012, 09:39 ET from BMO Harris Bank

CHICAGO, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Economic growth remains unsteady in Illinois, with cooling factory output and State budget cuts weighing, though the housing market is finding some momentum according to the State Monitor report released by BMO Capital Markets Economics. 

Employment growth is rocky, with nonfarm payrolls falling 3 of 6 months through September, leaving employment up 0.9% year-over-year. Government and construction sector employment is down 0.7% and 4.4% in the past year due to combined state and local government payrolls hitting low levels. Although job growth is choppy, manufacturing continues to recover up 3.7% amid a recent surge in the nondurable sector, while finance industry employment has also turned up in the past year.

"Our commercial customers are cautiously optimistic about a business-led recovery here in Illinois," said Dave Casper, Executive Vice President and Head of Commercial Banking, BMO Harris Bank. "Our local expertise, sector knowledge and mid-market focus are real advantages to helping our customers find solutions as they invest and upgrade their businesses."

Exports hit a record level in Q2, but growth has slowed significantly to 6.6% from more than 30% in the same quarter last year. Major exports such as machinery and electronics have also slowed amid less global demand. A positive note is that Google will shift 3,000 jobs to downtown Chicago next year.    

"The housing market in Illinois is gradually healing, with existing home sales jumping nearly 16% in September," said Dr. Sherry Cooper, Chief Economist, BMO Financial Group.  "Although the state remains among the highest stress markets in the country there are concrete signs of stabilization with prices jumping almost 6% between March and July."

The full State Monitor report can be downloaded at

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