Published July 24, 2018
The Minneapolis Fed’s most recent Beige Book report on current business conditions, released last week, found that hiring demand remained robust in the Ninth District, but continued to be restrained by a tight labor supply. Price pressures appeared to be increasing, in part from growing concern among manufacturers over steep increases in aluminum and steel costs in reaction to tariff announcements. But manufacturers were otherwise upbeat, as contacts reported very strong activity so far this year.
Summer tourism was also showing optimism. Lodging and accommodation tax collections in Montana have been higher every month this year, including May, compared with 2017. Gaming receipts from casinos in Spearfish, S.D., were down about 4 percent during the spring months, but summer bookings at hotels and campgrounds in the region were up, according to local officials. Minnesota’s hotel sector saw demand increase 7 percent over a year earlier. An industry contact said, “It looks like this will be a good summer for the state’s hotel industry.”