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.
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.