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New report shows ND economy poised for growth

April 4, 2022 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The latest outlook from North Dakota State University researchers finds the state’s economy is poised for growth this year.

The quarterly report indicates growth in salaries and wages, as well as a growing labor force, decreasing unemployment rates, strong tax collections and a rising gross state product.

“The overall economic outlook for the state has improved from the previous forecast in December 2021,” writes NDSU economics professor Jeremy Jackson, director of the Center for the Study of Public Choice and Private Enterprise.

Jackson says the report shows a reduced risk for decreases in the labor force despite small labor force declines in recent quarters. Total wages and salaries are forecast to continue growing at about 2% per quarter. The state unemployment rate is forecast to hold steady at just above 3%, the Bismarck Tribune reported.

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North Dakota’s gross state product is forecast to decline slightly and then grow as the year progresses. Total tax collections are predicted to remain stable.

The report notes that North Dakota’s economy is heavily tied to oil, and its economy can be influenced by changes in the price of crude. Oil prices recently spiked after Russia invaded Ukraine late last month.

“The data used in this analysis predates the conflict in Ukraine. Because of this, current trends in the WTI crude price are not reflected in the model,” Jackson wrote, referring to West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. oil pricing benchmark.