Posted at 9:30 AM on December 7, 2009
by Paul Tosto
Below are some of the questions I'm thinking about on the economy as well as some from our colleagues at Marketplace business radio. Pick a question. Every answer makes a little smarter about the economy.
What's the economy like around you?
Share a quick story about the Minnesota economy. How are you faring? Are you seeing signs of recovery? Click here and tell us.
Many of the responses end up right here on MinnEcon or in one of the maps you often see embedded in the posts.
It's a question from our Marketplace friends. Talking about money can be as problematic during the holidays as discussing religion or politics. It can cause a lot of friction with family and friends over the holidays.
Share a story about those kinds of conversations and how to navigate them.
Ask the experts
Our public media colleagues across the country are asking people to send in questions about the economy, economic policy or finance. Answers to selected questions will be posted to PBS Engage December 10 and 17.
Questions for us at MinnEcon? Post below or contact me directly.
The value of the U.S. dollar's been falling against the Canadian dollar the past couple months -- and that might be just the thing Minnesota manufacturers need.
Chris Farrell, chief economics correspondent for MPR News, said today he's keeping close watch on Thursday's release of international trade data.
A weaker dollar makes U.S. goods more attractive to buyers from other countries, which is good if you're trying to export. Canada is the largest U.S. trading partner and especially important to Minnesota.
"The expectation is that it (trade balance) will show a decent number," Farrell said on MPR's Morning Edition, where he share his insights on the Minnesota and national economies each Monday.
Click on the play button below to listen.Looking at data from Creighton University's rising Minnesota economic index, "increased orders seem to be one of the factors that's driving it," he said, noting the recent drop in the value of the US dollar compared to the Canadian dollar.
"The expectation is that we'll see some improvement in manufacturing. We'll see some improvement in orders, taking advantage of the low value of the currency....and that is really to be an additional boost to the Minnesota economy," Farrell said. "Hopefully, it will start showing up in manufacturing numbers."
Minnesota's manufacturing sector has been hit hard in the recession and is down more than 40,000 jobs from a year ago.
Farrell's also watching a key index on retail chain store sales due Tuesday as an indicator of how consumers are treating retailers like Target and Best Buy. The initial Black Friday start of the holiday shopping season "wasn't as bad as it could have been," said Farrell. "But it wasn't great."