Minnesota's Business Conditions Index from Creighton University climbed to 57.2 in December, up from 48.4 in November, the Pioneer Press reports. Economist Ernie Goss said Minnesota's unemployment rate of 5.7 percent, which is well below the national rate of 7.7 percent, helped improve the outlook.
"Since the national economic recovery began in July 2009, Minnesota has added more than 9,000 manufacturing jobs," Goss said. "Our surveys over the past several months point to positive job and economic growth for the first half of 2013."
Goss also told MPR. "Housing is looking stronger. That's spilling over into some other industries that we're surveying, those tied to housing."
Overall, the Mid-America Business Conditions Index, which surveys supply managers across Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota, hit 49.5 in December, up from November's 48.0 and October's 46.5, Journal Star reports.