I get many queries about data related to North Dakota. Sometimes the questions focus on national data and the implications for the North Dakota economic environment. Other times the questions relate more to the internal dynamics and workings of North Dakota. These questions come from all sectors and all types of businesses.
I am a contributor to the Jarrod Thomas Show on KNOX 1310 AM radio, and a program topic from Friday had people in my office talking. Stores around the country will be opening their doors earlier for holiday shopping, including earlier on Thanksgiving evening. Is this a problem?
I am working on some technical support for my positions regarding housing in Grand Forks but I will take a moment to reiterate that position here. Nobody illustrated to my satisfaction that Grand Forks ever had a housing “crisis.” Could there be circumstances where the types of housing available did not meet the particular demands of the people in the market? Sure. Could it be that builders focused on certain types of building which meant others types did not see new construction? You bet. Does any of this mean the market outcome is bad? No!
The GDP report for Q3 is out (available here) and it might seem good news. Q3 2013 growth is 2.8%, but it comes from inventory accumulation and that is not good. Firms added to inventories of goods which means they will need to produce less in Q4 so hiring may still be weak.
The approaching holiday season means many will now renew their focus on the retail sector for a clue to strength in the economy. What does this mean to North Dakota? There are many factors working to the positive for ND right now. The exchange rate with Canada is one of them, seen here: