The St. Louis Federal Reserve says a February survey shows the majority of St. Louis area businesses expect local economic conditions will be better this year than last year. The percentage of respondents who expect conditions to worsen was significantly lower than three months earlier, according to a press release.
The Burgundy Books detail economic data for each of the St. Louis Fed’s four zones: St. Louis, Little Rock, Louisville and Memphis, including information collected from labor markets, manufacturing, real estate and construction, the household sector, banking and finance, and agriculture and natural resources.
View the entire St. Louis report at: http://research.stlouisfed.org/regecon/burgundybooks/14/03/BB0314StL.pdf
The St. Louis region covers 71 counties in eastern Missouri and 45 counties in southern Illinois, with a total population of about 5.6 million people. About 3 million people live in the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The St. Louis Federal Reserve says employment growth across the zone was mostly positive in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared with the previous year, and that unemployment dropped to 6.7 percent in the fourth quarter, its lowest level in five years.
Missouri and the St. Louis area added manufacturing jobs in the fourth quarter of 2013, but Illinois experienced a decline for the third consecutive quarter, the data shows. The residential housing and nonresidential property markets have also improved, showing the lowest vacancy rate in six years for the St. Louis area.
For the second straight quarter, growth of per capita personal income for Missouri and Illinois outpaced the nation’s growth, the St. Louis Fed reports, and mortgage and credit card balances have also decreased.