Analysis: North Dakota’s economy is holding its own

By Danielle Webster
Prairie Public Broadcasting

North Dakota’s economy is doing as well as it can.

Dr. Ernie Goss is an economics professor from Creighton University, and conducts a monthly survey of regional supply managers in nine states of the Midwest.

His Business Conditions Index for the month of February indicated North Dakota’s economy expanding slightly.

Any reading on the index above 50 indicates economic growth; North Dakota scored 51.3 in February but that is down slightly from January’s reading of 53.9.

Goss says the state’s energy sector continues to outperform and hold up other industries, including agriculture.

“Agriculture has not been doing as well, but the energy sector has been holding up pretty well. Exports are holding up better in North Dakota than in other sites that we survey. Exports has been an area of real concern, at least for the manufacturing sector and for that matter the agriculture sector, that’s been spilling over into the broader economy. As a result, we’re seeing the Federal Reserve moving to the sidelines in terms of interest rates. They were about to reduce interest rates, but now we’re seeing too many inflationary pressures at the same time we’re seeing growth not as strong as we like to see.”

Goss says those inflationary pressures will prevent the FED from reducing rates for the foreseeable future. He says inflation is expected to remain high as the global economy continues to struggle to find its footing.

All in all, Goss says federal spending is what’s holding up the economy but North Dakota is holding its own.