Staff Directory 6370490

Kavita Kumar

Reporter | Retail merchandise

Kavita Kumar writes about the economy for the Star Tribune.

Recent content from Kavita Kumar
Huntington Bank is closing 11 branches inside Cub Foods stores in Minnesota.

Huntington Bank closing 11 Twin Cities branches inside Cub stores

The closures amount to about 15% of its Minnesota locations.
U.S. Bancorp reported better-than-expected third quarter earnings Wednesday.

Federal Reserve grants U.S. Bancorp relief from stricter regulations after acquisition

The Minneapolis-based bank also reported a better-than-expected third-quarter profit.
Laura Salciccia helped a customer with a transaction at Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union in Roseville in 2012.

Why are there suddenly credit unions 'everywhere' in Minnesota?

Traditional banks are closing branches. But credit unions are taking an alternate approach.
Bridgette Noel and Lesia Jackson asked about pay and job opportunities in the home care field with Renisha Gray of Sisters of Energy at a job fair in

Minnesota added 7,700 jobs in May despite uptick in unemployment rate

The state jobless rate increased slightly to 2.9% as more people entered the labor force.
At 1.8%, the year-over-year inflation for the Minneapolis-St. Paul region in May was also less than half that of the U.S. rate of 4%.

Twin Cities' inflation is lowest among a dozen U.S. cities and half the rate of the U.S.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul region continues to see inflation moderating faster on a year-over-year basis compared to other parts of the country.
Damon Jenkins (center), the Twin Cities regional market president of First Independence Bank, spoke with Donte Stamps (left) and Charlotte Epee, finan

Minnesota's first Black-owned bank still trying to gain steam after first year

First Independence Bank expanded from Detroit to Minneapolis at the urging of a group of local banking executives.
Bill Spriggs, chief economist of the AFL-CIO and an advisor to the Opportunity & Growth Institute of the Minneapolis Fed, died Tuesday.

William Spriggs, advisor to the Minneapolis Fed who criticized how economists approach race, dies at 68

Spriggs was chief economist at the AFL-CIO and advised the Minneapolis Fed's Opportunity & Inclusive Growth Institute.
Minnesota saw sizable growth in state exports to some regions, including a 34% jump in Africa, thanks largely to a surge in wheat exports to Ethiopia.

Minnesota's export growth slowed in first months of 2023 but still surpassed nation's

State exports to Canada and Mexico increased while those to China declined.
The Target store on Nicollet Mall displayed its 2016 collection of Pride merchandise.

Target pulls some of its Pride products after threats to store workers

The Minneapolis-based retailer is still selling swimwear made for the transgender community but is no longer selling products from a brand that critics say expresses "Satanist" views.
The aerospace and security company hopes to have a lease for its new location on the West Side of St. Paul finalized later this week.

Lockheed Martin design center coming to St. Paul, bringing more than 100 jobs

The aerospace and security company should open its Twin Cities operations this fall.
Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Fed's Kashkari says higher capital requirements would bolster banking system

The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis wrote an essay outlining his thinking.
With Minnesota still struggling with about 41,000 fewer people in its labor force compared to before the pandemic, state officials heralded how 3,600

After brief slowdown, Minnesota's job market ramps up in April

The state added 4,500 jobs in April, and the unemployment rate held steady at 2.8%.
Michael Vale had been with the company for more than 30 years, most recently as its group president and chief business and country officer.

3M fires longtime exec for inappropriate personal conduct

Michael Vale had been with the company for more than 30 years, most recently as its group president and chief business and country officer.
Anusha Nath of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis presented findings from the most recent study of the impact of Minneapolis and St. Paul’s min

Downside of higher pay? Fewer hours, fewer jobs, Twin Cities minimum wage study says

The policy changes led to 5,400 fewer jobs in Minneapolis and 3,800 fewer jobs in St. Paul, according to researchers
James Bullard, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, spoke to reporters after an appearance at the Economic Club of Minnesota on Friday.

St. Louis Fed chief tells Minnesota audience slow growth is more likely than a recession

James Bullard, a Minnesota native, shared his economic thinking in a Friday conversation with Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari.
Grace Kaspar, left, Bhavagna Thumbeti, center, and Aadhya Sambhangi gave a presentation on the app they created to help reduce food waste. They were o

Girls and nonbinary students from Minnesota pitch app ideas to U.S. Bancorp execs

The pitch challenge is part of a statewide Technovation program that aims to grow interest in coding and technology
The  Minneapolis-based financial services firm will add a new savings product in March plus a new brokered CD offering in May as well as a new high-yi

After bank failures, Minneapolis' Ameriprise adds new offerings to entice deposits

The financial services company is the third largest bank in Minnesota by deposit size.
Chef Brennan Danielski loads an order onto a robot, Bella, to bring to the dining room at The Commons on Marice, an assisted-living center in Eagan.

Minnesota restaurants, senior homes turn to robots amid labor shortage

While some Minnesota businesses profess automation can't fully replace the human touch, they still intend to invest further in robotic help.
The state’s unemployment rate ticked down two-tenths of a percentage point to 2.8%. By comparison, the U.S. jobless rate was 3.5% in March.

Minnesota lost jobs in March despite the unemployment rate ticking down

With March's job losses, the state has no longer fully recovered all of the private-sector jobs lost in the pandemic
In the first financial reports since the recent bank failures, investors are scrutinizing banks’ deposit flows to judge the health of individual ban

Amid increased scrutiny, big banks report dips in deposits

But the country's fifth-largest bank, Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, still reported an uptick in deposits in the days following March bank failures, plus a quarterly profit.
Wells Fargo is consolidating its office space, including selling off its Home Mortgage building in the Phillips neighborhood, seen Monday, April 17, 2

Wells Fargo closing home mortgage campus in south Mpls.

The company also will exit its Metropoint offices in St. Louis Park and relocate workers to downtown Minneapolis and Shoreview.
Minnesota Public Radio headquarters in St. Paul.

Minnesota Public Radio to quit Twitter

The move comes after National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System both announced plans to leave the controversial social media site.
Driver killed in rollover on I-35 in Lakeville after fleeing crash, then hitting semi

Driver killed in rollover on I-35 in Lakeville after fleeing crash, then hitting semi

A Burnsville man was ejected from his SUV after it rolled into the median after striking two other vehicles.
The last true credit crunch was during the financial crisis of 2007-09.

A credit crunch could be coming. Here's what that could mean for getting a loan

In a New York Fed survey of households, 58.2% of consumers reported it was harder to obtain credit in March than a year ago, the highest percentage since the survey started a decade ago.
Hopeton Bedward watched the fuel pump on Tuesday as he filled up his vehicle with gasoline at Bobby & Steve’s Auto World in South Minneapolis.

Inflation in Twin Cities fell to 3.4% last month, lowest rate in two years

Meanwhile, U.S. inflation eased to 5% in March.
John Stern is the new chief financial officer of U.S. Bancorp.

U.S. Bancorp announces new CFO, other leadership changes

John Stern will become chief financial officer, succeeding Terry Dolan, who is taking on a new executive role.
Soybeans and agriculture are a big part of the Minnesota economy.

Minnesota's economy slowed but remained resilient in last months of 2022

The state's Gross Domestic Product rose 1.3% in fourth quarter, compared to 2.6% for the U.S.
Cameron Briscoe of Minneapolis helps direct a Ford Mustang convertible onto a platform during setup for The Twin Cities Auto Show Thursday, March 30,

Car sales expected to rise this year as inventories improve despite high prices, interest rates

As snow melts, the car shopping season kicks off in Minnesota, starting with the nine-day Twin Cities Auto Show opening Friday.
Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, spoke about the recent banking issues on Face the Nation.

Minneapolis Fed president said recent banking turmoil brings recession closer

Neel Kashkari made his first public comments since the recent bank failures on CBS' Face the Nation this past Sunday.
U.S. Bank said it saw an uptick in deposits last week in the wake of the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.

Mostly business as usual for Minnesota banks despite recent bank failures

Many said they haven't seen an outflow of deposits despite Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank collapsing.
Minnesota logged a second consecutive month of strong job growth while its jobless rate ticked up to 3%.

Minnesota has finally recovered all private sector jobs lost in pandemic

The state added 10,100 jobs in February, and its unemployment rate ticked up to 3%.
Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan want to send tax rebate checks to millions of Minnesotans.

Could Minnesota's proposed rebate checks fuel even higher inflation?

Some economists have raised the question after a number of states already passed tax rebates, but rebate supporters argued much bigger factors drive inflation.
Prepare and Prosper offers free services such as financial coaching for low-income residents. Volunteer Mike Tveite works with Maria Altamirano during

Here's how to prepare for a recession, if it actually happens

Financial experts say now is a good time to save, pay down debt and keep career contacts fresh.
U.S. Bank is providing $1 billion to First Republic Bank as part of rescue package by big banks

U.S. Bank provides $1 billion of $30 billion rescue package for First Republic Bank

The Minneapolis-based bank is one of 11 that are part of the plan aimed at helping stabilize the banking sector
Crypto company Nexo Capital will pay $425,000 to the Minnesota Department of Commerce in a settlement over selling unregistered securities.

Crypto company settles for $425,000 with Minnesota for selling unregistered securities

Nexo Capital has agreed to stop selling the interest-bearing product.
People walk by the closed branch of Silicon Valley Bank in San Francisco on Friday.

Silicon Valley Bank's collapse: Here's what Minnesotans need to know

Minnesota-based banks' stocks slid this morning despite the federal government stepping in to quell fears. Meanwhile, experts say consumers should rest easy about their money.
Christina Kitt and Henok Fanta with Washington County speak to potential employees during a job fair inside the Maplewood YMCA Community Center on Tue

Minnesota's labor market not as tight as initially thought; 14,100 jobs added in January

The state unemployment rate, revised higher during the second half of last year, held steady at 2.9%.
A ship passes under the Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth. The state’s exports rose 16% last year to a record high.

Minnesota exports surged 16% to record high of $27 billion last year

Canada and Mexico were the state's top foreign markets, according a state agency report, while China slipped to third place.
Brian Lipschultz, seen testifying in a hearing October 2021, is appealing his removal as a trustee of Otto Bremer Trust to the Minnesota Supreme Court

Judge approves new trustee for Otto Bremer Trust, ousted leader still appealing

The remaining two trustees selected Frank Miley to fill the open seat.
Neel Kashkari, president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank, right, and former Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, center, teamed up in 20

Kashkari and other Fed employees now barred from advocating for constitutional amendments

The new code of conduct policy comes after Kashkari had spearheaded an effort to change Minnesota's education clause in the state Constitution.
Frank Miley is president of Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul.

Otto Bremer Trust appoints third trustee to replace ousted leader

Frank Miley replaces Brian Lipschultz, who was removed last year by a Ramsey County judge.
Eggs were one item that saw price increases in January.

Inflation cooling off faster in the Twin Cities than U.S. as a whole

The consumer price index for the Twin Cities rose 5.1% over the year ending in January, compared with 6.4% for the U.S.
Customers did business at TruStone Financial in Golden Valley.

Payday Friday is becoming Payday Wednesday in Minnesota

It's not because employers are doing anything different. It's because banks and credit unions are fronting the funds to its customers early.
Summit Academy, which offers GED and job training classes, is adding a pilot program in food manufacturing.

New job training program at Summit Academy addresses labor shortage in food manufacturing

The program, aimed at exposing more students to the food industry, starts this month.
Amazon is shutting down its sorting center in Shakopee.

Amazon closing Shakopee sorting center, impacting 680 jobs

Every employee who works there will be offered a transfer to one of Amazon's other facilities in the Twin Cities region, the company said.
U.S. Bank expects to see financial benefits this year from Union Bank acquisition

U.S. Bank expects to see financial benefits this year from Union Bank acquisition

The bank's fourth-quarter earnings were weighed down by costs related to the deal.
Gene Munster, managing partner of Deepwater Asset Management

Many more tech layoffs could come in industry rightsizing, Minneapolis analyst says

Gene Munster of renamed Deepwater Asset Management expects laid-off employees to find new roles quickly.
Target is among the employers that have been raising their starting wages in recent years amid the tight labor market.

Wage gap in Minnesota falling, but inflation dragging progress

While wages have risen across the spectrum, they've grown the fastest for workers in the bottom half, economists with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development found.
Minnesota’s lost 5,200 jobs in December and its jobless rate ticked up to 2.5%.

Minnesota's job growth streak came to an end in December

The state lost 5,200 jobs last month and the unemployment rate ticked up to 2.5%
A McDonald’s franchisee has reached an agreement to resolve a sexual harassment case with the Minnesota Department of Human Resource

McDonald's franchisee reaches agreement with the state in sexual harassment case

Hyder Investments has agreed to strengthen policies and to hold regular workplace trainings.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the decision to remove Brian Lipschultz as one of the trustees of the Otto Bremer Trust. In this photo, Lipschul

Minnesota Appeals Court upholds removal of trustee of Otto Bremer Trust

Brian Lipschultz was ousted from the trust last year following a suit brought by the Minnesota Attorney General's Office
Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, on his weekly grocery shopping trip at Lunds & Byerlys with his son, Tecumseh, 2.

Grocery shopping with Minneapolis Federal Reserve president: 'It's sticker shock'

Neel Kashkari will have a vote this year on how high interest rates go.
Foster Dunwiddie with the Stevens house in Minneapolis in 1982.

Foster Dunwiddie, Twin Cities architect who spearheaded historic preservation efforts, dies at 97

During his career, Dunwiddie helped preserve many landmarks of Minnesota history, including the Minnesota State Capitol, Historic Fort Snelling, the James J. Hill House and buildings in downtown Red Wing.
Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Fed's Kashkari calls for raising interest rates at least a few more times this year

Kashkari will have a vote on rate-setting committee this year
The sign of the times in Minnesota for the last two years.

Low jobless rate, slow growth muddle Minnesota's outlook

It's a complicated picture that economists and analysts who watch Minnesota's economy closely are still trying to decipher.
Shauntina Beatty has tripled her income in more than a decade since completing a job training program. She is also now a homeowner in north Minneapoli

Racial disparity in Minnesota household incomes is starting to narrow

However, a big gap remains in the median income between Black and white households in Minnesota.
Andrew Cecere, chief executive of U.S. Bancorp, said the company grabbed one of the few opportunities to grow in California by purchasing MUFG Union B

CEO says U.S. Bank HQ will stay in Minnesota after merger

California was already U.S. Bank's biggest market and got even larger with its recent purchase of MUFG Union Bank.
Employers in Minnesota are still eagerly hiring. The state added 6,800 jobs last month, while its unemployment rate rose to 2.3%.

Minnesota added 6,800 jobs last month; jobless rate ticks up to 2.3%

The solid jobs report comes on the heels of a blockbuster month of job growth in October.
November inflation rose 5.3% in the Twin Cities, the smallest year-on-year jump in 2022. Shown is a Holiday station in North St. Paul, which was selli

Inflation is falling faster in Twin Cities than in U.S. as a whole

The downward turn is now clear. The latest consumer price index for the region rose 5.3% compared with 7.1% for the U.S.
Shoppers at the downtown Marshalls store Friday. Separately, Ameriprise Financial said it will exit the skyscraper that has been its headquarters and

Downtown remake: Marshalls to close, Ameriprise to cut space

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey will convene a group next week to work on reviving storefronts downtown.
Ameriprise Financial will move out of its headquarters skyscraper, anchored by this sign on 7th Street, over the next three years.

Ameriprise will cut its downtown Mpls. office space, moving to one building from two

The company is moving out of its skyscraper headquarters building to its client service center a couple blocks away.
Minnesota State Demographer Susan Brower, in a presentation to the state Chamber of Commerce Wednesday, showed how the number of workers drops off as

Minnesota's big economic challenge is where to find people to fill jobs, state demographer says

The state will see "almost no growth" in its workforce in coming years, demographer Susan Brower told the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.
Steve Grove, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, shown in 2020 , said this program will help strengthen l

Minnesota rolls out $25M small business loan participation program

It's the sixth and final program to launch as part of the $97 million State Small Business Credit Initiative.
Machines at Banner Engineering in Plymouth. Manufacturing indexes turned negative for the first time since spring 2020, when they declined at the star

Manufacturing indexes turn negative for the first time since spring 2020

One survey also showed Minnesota's firms signaling contraction in November.
It’s the largest transaction for U.S. Bancorp since its $21 billion merger with Milwaukee-based Firstar Corp. in 2001.

U.S. Bancorp completes $8 billion acquisition of West Coast's MUFG Union Bank

The purchase gives Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank a much bigger presence in California, Oregon and Washington.
A robot at Graco moves finished cylinders from a CNC machine after testing them and restocks the machine with unfinished stock.

State unveils program for businesses to use robots to address workforce shortages

The $12.5 million automation loan program is the fifth announced so far as part of $97 million small business initiative.
Minnesota’s exports were up 18% over the first nine months of the year, and third-quarter exports reached a record value of $7.3 billion.

Minnesota exports rose to an all-time high this fall

However, the state is slightly trailing the growth of U.S. exports over the first nine months of the year.
Mankato had the lowest unemployment rate of any city in the country in September. File photo of a worker at, the Mankato-based online seller o

This Minnesota city has the lowest unemployment rate for any metro in U.S.

Six cities in the state or on its border are among the 20 best for jobs right now.
Minnesota experienced its biggest hiring surge of the year in October. “Now hiring” signs were up at the Home Depot in Cedar Point Commons shoppin

Minnesota added 17,400 jobs in October, most in 2022

The state's job growth rate outpaced the national rate, a rarity because Minnesota's labor market has been so tight.
Logistics giant C.H. Robinson is one of the few Minnesota-based companies to announce a jobs cutback recently.

Despite buzz about layoffs, many Minnesota firms still eager to hire

Job postings remain elevated and jobless claims low. The state's latest jobs data comes out Thursday.
Edward C. Prescott, at the University of Minnesota in 1983. Prescott taught at the U for 23 years.

Edward Prescott, Nobel-winning economist at U and Minneapolis Fed, dies at 81

He was one of the "four horsemen" of the U's economics department, three of whom won Nobel Prizes.
Code42 has used its office space as a recruiting tool to attract new talent.

Minneapolis tech firm Code42 lays off 15% of workforce

While job cuts at tech companies seem to be picking up, overall layoffs remain quite low.
Container ships are no longer backed up at U.S. ports as they were when this photo was taken a year ago in Miami. But other logistics constraints weig

Minnesota firms see supply chains healing, but still not back to normal

Transoceanic shipping is no longer backed up. But labor shortages at airlines and trucking firms continue to influence U.S. supply chains.
With nearly 5,000 employees working downtown before the pandemic, U.S. Bank is Minneapolis’ fifth-largest downtown employer.

U.S. Bank CEO wants workers back in the office three days a week

CEO Andy Cecere sent a memo to workers last week asking them to come to the office more often.
Three JPMorgan Chase executives — Matthew Gustafson, Racquel Oden and Mohamed Zaza — welcomed customers Wednesday to the bank’s new branch in Ed

JPMorgan Chase speeds up Twin Cities expansion with plans for 40 branches

The nation's biggest bank had previously committed to opening 25 branches in the region.