Report: 2.6 percent growth, 5.2 percent unemployment in 2015

Freeman Staff

August 14, 2014

MILWAUKEE — A new report from BMO Harris Bank predicts Wisconsin will see a 2.1 percent increase in gross domestic product in 2014.

The report also expects future growth of 2.6 percent in 2015 after growing by 1.7 percent in 2013.

The report looked at the eight states where BMO Harris has a footprint. Among those, Illinois is expected to see an increase of 1.7 percent in GDP in 2014 and 2.9 percent in 2015. Indiana is expected to see 2.5 percent and 2.7 percent growth. 2.3 and 2.8 for Minnesota, 1.8 and 2.4 for Missouri, 1.7 and 2.5 for Kansas, 2.8 and 3.3 for Florida and 2. and 3.5 for Arizona.

Personal income will grow by 3.3 percent in 2014 after staying flat in 2013. Employment is expected to increase by 1.2 percent and the jobless rate is forecasted to be down to 5.2 percent in 2015. Mineesota’s jobless rate is forecasted to be 4.2 percent by that point, while Indiana’s would be 5.1 percent and Illinois would  be 6.8, according to the report

While the report says employment has been expanding “at a solid clip,” the report also notes underlying measures of labor market health remain weak in Wisconsin.

Because Wisconsin’s housing market was less severely hit than than many other states during the recession — prices fell 10 percent versus 18 percent nationally — prices are not rising quite as fast as elsewhere.

Wisconsin’s finances are in good shape, according to the report, with fund spending expected to grow 4.7 percent in fiscal 2014.