The Ninth District economy continues to expand, according to a Minneapolis Fed ad hoc electronic survey of 202 business contacts around the district in late September and early October.
The results indicate that business activity over the past three months was stronger than last year and a bit stronger than results shown in the ad hoc survey conducted in August. Sales, profits and employment grew over the past three months (see table). However, input costs also rose and space occupied was little changed.
Respondents expect a little slower growth for the next three months. Sales, profits and employment are expected to increase, but at a slightly slower pace than the previous three months. This may be caused by some of the market turmoil over the past two months. “There is much economic fear in people,” commented a Minnesota manufacturer. Space usage is expected to increase somewhat, and input prices look like they will increase at a slower pace.
Meanwhile, access to bank credit has stabilized, with two-thirds of the respondents seeing no change in access to bank credit over the past three months.
The survey is over-weighted to Minnesota, as 88 percent of the respondents were from Minnesota, while the state represents about 60 percent of the district’s population. However, the results from the other states were somewhat similar to the overall results.