MILWAUKEE -- The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's latest index ranks Wisconsin 49th in the nation for economic growth.
The Reserve Bank's data is from its monthly state-by-state index of leading economic growth indicators. The report shows five states with contraction, including Wisconsin with an index rank of negative 0.74 percent.
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Economists caution against reading too much into data from a single month. The Philadelphia Fed's index relies heavily on the states' monthly employment report, which can change significantly. The data for the employment reports come from a survey of only about 3 percent of the state's employers.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/17q7d22 ) says many economists believe Wisconsin's lackluster economic outlook is because its manufacturing industries face tough foreign competition and have been slow to reinvent themselves.