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Trend of business.

U.S. Economy

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis reported a slight increase in U.S. total personal income. In the second quarter of 1991 compared to the previous quarter the 1.1 percent gain reflected increases in all industries except agricultural services, mining, and construction. Farm income rose 6.1 percent, bolstered in part by federal subsidy payments to farmers.

Total U.S. employment fell 1.0 percent in the third quarter of 1991 compared to a year ago. The third quarter estimates of 111,984,666 were also well below second quarter 1991 figures of 117,194,000. The Labor Department recently reported a sharp jump in the number of people filing for unemployment claims. For the week ended November 23, new applications for unemployment benefits jumped 57,000 to a seasonally adjusted total of 471,000. The November unemployment rate remained at 6.8 percent--unchanged from October.

November auto sales of eight major automakers in the U.S. fell 5.6 percent compared to a year ago. Weak sales have prompted automakers to cut back production.

Gross domestic product (GDP) has recently been added as a measure of economic output in the U.S. Gross national product (GNP), the standard measure of the output of goods and services by the U.S. economy since 1941, will still be reported, but will be de-emphasized. The main difference between the two indicators is the "GDP measures all goods and services produced in the U.S. regardless of who owns the business, whereas GNP measured goods and services produced by U.S.-owned businesses anywhere in the world." (USA Today, December 5, 1991) The Commerce Department reported third quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.7 percent, up from 1.5 percent in the previous quarter.

South Dakota Economy

Seasonally adjusted indicators of business activity for South Dakota show growth in several sectors. The third quarter unemployment rate for South Dakota of 3.5 percent was well below the national rate of 6.8 percent. As reported in the October 1991 issue of the South Dakota Labor Bulletin published by the Labor Market Information Center, "the drop in the unemployment rate in October seems to be the result of a substantial increase in the number of people seeking jobs and finding them quickly." Non-agricultural employment rose slightly in the third quarter-0.2 percent compared to the previous quarter. Seasonally adjusted construction employment increased 1.2 percent in the third quarter from the previous quarter.

The U. S. Department of Commerce reported a modest increase of 2.2 percent in second quarter total personal income for South Dakota. This exceeded the national increase of 1.1 percent. As seen by the graph on the following page, farm income was a contributing factor to the increase--increasing nearly 14 percent from the previous quarter. Federal subsidy payments to farmers along with increases in farm income from other sources spurred growth in this sector. The finance, insurance, and real estate industry showed the greatest amount of strength in the nonfarm sector with a 5.6 percent increase.

The sale of new cars and trucks picked up in the third quarter of this year. Car sales increased nearly 10 percent while the sale of trucks jumped 13.2 percent compared to the previous period. Further comparisons are included in the graphs on the following page.
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Title Annotation:South Dakota economic indicators
Publication:South Dakota Business Review
Date:Dec 1, 1991
Previous Article:Venture capital and South Dakota economic development.
Next Article:Rural entrepreneurship: a prelimary study.

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Published by Business Research Bureau - University of South Dakota.

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