What are the forces moving the Minnesota economy? Adam Belz tries to identify the trends and show the connections between Minnesota and the larger U.S. and global economies. You can connect with him on Twitter: @adambelz

Opening Belz, June 27

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends Updated: June 27, 2014 - 9:51 AM

More financing woes for the Essar Steel project on Iron Range – StarTribune
In Detroit, a flood of tax foreclosures sends people packing – NY Times
Lenders are back pursuing risky credit-card borrowers – WSJ
Cost of All-Star game unknown, nobody wants to discuss it – StarTribune
None for July 4th, but Iowa sweet corn crop looks real good – Des Moines Register
Fargo man opens Afro-Latino restaurant to pay for son’s medical care – Fargo Forum
Personal income weak across ninth district in 1st quarter – FedGazette
After closures, Duluth only has one Pizza Hut left – News Tribune
Graphic showing how minimum wage will rise in states – WSJ
They had no idea. The Archduke’s assassination, as it was first reported – Economist

Opening Belz, June 26

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends Updated: June 26, 2014 - 9:50 AM

Barclays sued, accused of giving unfair edge to high frequency traders – Reuters
North Dakota is getting younger thanks to oil boom – Bismarck Tribune
Millennials set to move out, goose the housing market – Washington Post
Wisconsin continues to lag the nation in job creation – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
France faces prolonged economic stagnation – Sober Look
The hockey stick of human prosperity – Marginal Revolution
Monsanto said to have weighed deal similar to Medtronic’s – Bloomberg
The syndrome of “hell no, we won’t pay” – ZDNet

Opening Belz, June 25

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends Updated: June 25, 2014 - 9:10 AM

General Mills misses on profits, aims to cut costs – StarTribune
Turns out the U.S. economy shrank by 2.9 percent in the first quarter – Bloomberg
Medtronic could avoid $4.2 billion in taxes by overseas move – StarTribune
St. Louis Co. board opposes any new federal review of copper mining – Duluth News Tribune
Economist: U.S. productivity was slowing even before the recession – NBER
Booming St. Cloud hits record for employment – St. Cloud Times
High altitude harness maker Capital Safety to add 100 jobs in Red Wing – MSPBJ
Big Ten schools could afford to pay athletes – Chicago Tribune
Climate change could burn ag economy: report – StarTribune
The life and mind of Luis Suarez, a magical soccer player and serial biter – ESPN

Opening Belz, June 24

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends Updated: June 24, 2014 - 10:14 AM

Commerce Dept rejects much of Xcel rate hike – StarTribune
Female labor force participation down 3.5% since recession – NY Times
Steelworkers rally in Virginia (MN) against steel “dumping” – Duluth News Tribune
Tracking foreign direct investment by metro area – Brookings
New D.C. metro line to open July 26 – Washington Post
Steinhafel lost support of top execs at Target – WSJ
Opening of liquor behemoth Total Wine back on track in Bloomington – StarTribune
Walgreen profit rises but misses estimates – Crain’s Chicago
Documenting the increase in oil spills in North Dakota – FedGazette
Why car sales are plummeting in Argentina – New Yorker
TV audience for USA-Portugal was 25 million, not counting bars and parks – NY Times

Minnesota business services firms gaining confidence

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends, Economics Updated: June 23, 2014 - 1:50 PM

Firms in Minnesota that provide services to other businesses – like accounting, legal, public relations and architectural outfits – are more confident about their prospects than they were a year ago.

According to a survey of Minneosta business services firms released Monday, 52 percent believe their revenue will grow over the next 12 months. That’s compared to 46 percent a year ago.

Some 44 percent believe profits will rise over the next 12 months, compared to 41 percent a year ago.

The survey, conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, collected responses from 241 business services firms in April and May.

An argument could be made that the predictions are too pessimistic, as well. In 2013, 46 percent of respondents said they expected revenue to climb over the next 12 months. But when asked in 2014, 51 percent said revenue had increased.

The survey also asked questions about the North Dakota oil boom and its effect on Minnesota business services firms. Some 17 percent of respondents said North Dakota’s oil patch has driven sales for their firm, but 96 percent said it has had no impact on hiring.

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