FARGO — The economies of the Fargo and Bismarck metropolitan areas are expected to grow in 2022, part of a general upward trend in North Dakota’s economy, according to a report released Thursday, March 10.
The quarterly economic outlook report, released by the Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise at North Dakota State University, uses data available from the St. Louis Federal Reserve as of February 25.
Key points from the report, which is based on data available to date for January, February and March, include:
- North Dakota’s economic outlook has improved since last quarter and is showing signs of economic growth in 2022. Wages and salaries are expected to grow about 2% per quarter this year. The labor force is expected to increase and the unemployment rate to decrease. Total tax revenue is expected to be high – especially with the recent growth in oil markets and rising gross state product.
- The economic outlook for the North Dakota metropolitan areas is positive for Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo and Bismarck, but neutral for the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks, Minnesota area.
- In Fargo and Bismarck, wages, the labor force and housing prices are all expected to continue to rise.
- Fargo’s labor force is expected to grow about 1% per quarter through 2022, with unemployment likely to decline, perhaps soon reaching pre-pandemic levels. Bismarck’s labor force is expected to grow slightly, with unemployment – at 3% last quarter – continuing to decline.
- The Grand Forks-East Grand Forks, Minn., area has a neutral outlook, with wages and unemployment likely to remain flat. The labor force and housing prices are expected to follow an upward trend. House prices have seen strong growth in recent quarters, and this is expected to continue this year.
- The national economy is showing signs of slowing down. Gross domestic product (the total value of all finished goods and services) is expected to rise early this year, before starting to decline. Consumption, net investment and corporate earnings growth are expected to plateau as prices tend to rise.
The report uses a forecasting model developed by NDSU Professor Jeremy Jackson, director of the Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine began on February 24, a day before the report was published.
Jackson, reached on Friday, March 11, said the analysis does not include any data related to trade and other economic disruptions caused by the war, and that data collection having a lag, is unlikely to be fully reflected in the next quarterly report. , That is.
“It’s one of those really big elements of uncertainty,” he said.
Rising gas prices, along with supply chain disruptions caused by the war, will likely continue to fuel inflation, Jackson said.
However, since North Dakota exports its oil, the state’s economy, at least in the short term, should do well.
The report says wheat and corn prices are plateauing and soybean prices rose as expected last quarter. Soybean prices should now stabilize.
Jackson said North Dakota’s economy often operates against the grain of the country’s business cycle.
“Historically, we’ve done well when the rest of the country isn’t doing so well,” he said. “We are a net exporting state. We export more than we import. Most of the country is in trade deficit, we operate in trade surplus” with oil and agricultural raw materials.
A key for the agricultural sector is whether North Dakota can get its crop through the hurdles of the supply chain to buyers around the world, Jackson said.