Metro Milwaukee economic indicators weaken in October

Freeman Staff

Dec. 6, 2018

MILWAUKEE — Economic indicators analyzed by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce declined during the month of October, a report Wednesday showed.

According to the data, metro area economic indicators moved lower in October as 11 of 22 MMAC indicators improved from year-ago levels. In September, 13 of the indicators were positive.

“At present, the number of positive indicators in aggregate is at its lowest point since early 2012,” said Bret Mayborne, the MMAC’s economic research director, in a statement. “Much of this overall weakness can be attributed to a weaker year-over-year employment trend across a number of major industry sectors in the metro area.”

Highlights of the report include:

■ The overall job trend continued to show lackluster growth. Nonfarm employment in the metro area rose at a 0.8 percent rate, marking the third consecutive month and the fifth time in six months that metro area year-over-year growth failed to reach 1 percent or higher.

■ Five of 10 major industry sectors registered year-over-year job increases in October. The construction, mining & natural resource sector posted the largest gain — up 4.6 percent vs. year-ago levels. Conversely, five of 10 major industry sectors posted employment declines with the 1.8 percent drop in the trade, transportation & utilities sector ranking as the biggest percentage fall.

■ Both area housing and real estate indicators posted declines in October. Metro area existing home sales fell at a 8.5 percent pace (vs. year-ago levels) while mortgages recorded in Milwaukee County dropped 10.8 percent.