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Strong U.S. Economy Driving Growth in Wisconsin and Milwaukee - BMO Economics


MILWAUKEE, WI--(Marketwired - Nov 7, 2014) -  

  • Wisconsin to add 40,000 jobs (12,000 in Milwaukee) by end of 2016
  • BMO Harris Bank boosts credit to Wisconsin Business Owners by up to $3 Billion

A stronger U.S. economy should provide a continued cyclical boost to the economy in Milwaukee, and to Wisconsin more broadly, according to a new report from BMO Economics.

"The Wisconsin economy is expected to expand 2.2 percent this year, before picking up further to a 2.6 percent pace in 2015 alongside broader U.S. economic momentum," said Robert Kavcic, Senior Economist, BMO Capital Markets. "Indeed, real GDP growth in the state saw improved momentum late in 2013, with output rising 2.8 percent, year over year, by the fourth quarter of 2013, providing a solid handoff to this year. In Milwaukee, cyclical upturns in housing and factory activity are good news, and should strengthen as the U.S. economy maintains a solid growth clip through 2015."

"Wisconsin business owners have told us they are confident in the economy; 67 per cent have a positive outlook for the upcoming year and the majority expect their businesses will grow in 2015," said Jeff Ticknor, Head of Commercial Banking, Wisconsin, BMO Harris Bank.

The report was issued on the same day that BMO Harris Bank announced it is making an additional $3 billion in credit available to business owners in Wisconsin over the next three years.

"We're here to help, making more of our balance sheet available -- with greater focus on entrepreneurs, women and minority business owners, so they have more certainty of credit to grow and create new jobs," said Brad Chapin, Executive Vice President, Business Banking, BMO Harris Bank.

Employment continues to expand at a solid clip across the state, with nonfarm payrolls up 1.6 percent year over year in the third quarter of 2014. "Nearly all of the jobs lost during the recession have now been recouped," noted Mr. Kavcic. "At 5.5 percent, Wisconsin's unemployment rate remains slightly below the national average, and has fallen more than a percentage point in the past year. Looking ahead, Wisconsin can be reasonably expected to add about 40,000 jobs by the end of 2016 -- pulling the jobless rate below 5 percent -- of which Milwaukee should add roughly 12,000 jobs, leaving the jobless rate in-line with the national average at 5 percent."

Mr. Kavcic also stated that Milwaukee's large industrial base has recovered smartly from the Great Recession. "Despite softening recently, real manufacturing output bounced back at a 3.8 percent annualized clip in the two years through 2013. Note that after a soft patch through much of 2013, the Milwaukee PMI has rebounded well above the 50 mark, suggesting that factory activity is again expanding at a solid clip. In fact, average readings in the three months through October were among the highest of the past decade, encouragingly driven by strength in new orders."

The full report can be downloaded at http://www.bmonesbittburns.com/economics/reports/20141107b/sr141107-mwk-wi.pdf

About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through more than 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact sheet. Banking products and services are provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. and are subject to bank or credit approval. BMO Harris Bank® is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with approximately 1,600 branches, and CDN $586 billion in assets (as of July 31, 2014).



Media Contacts:
Alexis Brown
Alexis.Brown@bmo.com
(312) 461-6543

Internet:www.bmo.com


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