MILWAUKEE, June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Wisconsin economy is expanding at a moderate pace, as manufacturing continues to grind out a modest recovery, while exports are rising at a brisk pace for another solid year, according to the State Monitor report released today by BMO Capital Markets Economics.
The Business sector remains firmly in expansion territory. Exports continue to rise, up 12.5 percent year-over-year in the first quarter. Machinery shipments lead the gains up a strong 28 percent year-over-year to the highest level on record.
"Our commercial customers continue to express optimism and confidence in the state's economic resiliency," said Jeff Ticknor, Managing Director and Head of Diversified Industries, Wisconsin, 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."
While the housing market remains weak, with prices down 1.0% year-over-year in the first quarter. Wisconsin was not nearly as affected by the housing bubble as many other parts of the country and continues to sport a below-average foreclosure rate. As a result, prices are a relatively modest 9% below peak levels.
"Wisconsin's diverse economy weathered the recession relatively well," said Dr. Sherry Cooper, Chief Economist, BMO Financial Group. "Employment remains volatile but has recovered somewhat since late 2011, the state sports a below-average jobless rate, hitting a 31/2 year low of 6.7 percent in April and a less wounded housing market than in many other parts of the country."
Government sector jobs fell sharply thorough much of last year but the declines appear to have stabilized overall in recent months. Construction remains under pressure but manufacturing jobs continue to show a modest recovery, with employment up 1.6 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2012.
BMO Financial Group announced in 2011 that the company is making an additional $5 billion in business credit available to support the U.S. business-led recover.
The full State Monitor report can be downloaded at 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 650 branches and approximately 1,350 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 Bank(SM) 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.
BMO Harris Bank is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Banking deposit and loan products and services are provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. Brokerage products are offered through Harris Investor Services, Inc. (HIS), a registered broker/dealer, member FINRA/SIPC, and SEC-registered investment advisor. Insurance products are offered through Harris Bancorp Insurance Services, Inc. (HBIS). Investment banking services are provided by BMO Capital Markets Corp. (BMOCMC) and BMO Capital Markets GKST, Inc. (GKST), a Municipal Bond Dealer and member FINRA and SIPC. Financial planning and investment advisory services are provided by Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney, Inc. (Harris SBSB), an SEC registered investment advisor. Family Office Services are provided by Harris myCFO, Inc. Investment advisory services are offered by Harris myCFO Investment Advisory Services LLC (Harris myCFO), an SEC-registered investment advisor and wholly-owned subsidiary of Harris myCFO, Inc. Stoker Ostler Wealth Advisors (Stoker Ostler) is an SEC-registered investment advisor. Investment advisory services to institutional clients are provided by Harris Investment Management (HIM) or its wholly-owned subsidiary HIM Monegy (Monegy), SEC-registered investment advisors. Products offered by HIS, HBIS, BMOCM, Harris SBSB, Harris myCFO, Stoker Ostler, HIM, and Monegy, which are affiliated companies and wholly owned subsidiaries of BMO Financial Corp.,: Are not insured by the FDIC or any Federal Government Agency, not a deposit of or guaranteed by any Bank or Bank Affiliate, may lose value. The purchase of insurance or an annuity is not a condition to any bank loan or service. Not all products and services are offered in every state and/or location.
SOURCE BMO Harris Bank