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Fed Outlook — Comments
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The Fed won't release the identities of those who were surveyed, but the comments — anonymously — appear below

Survey #1 — Sioux Falls, SD — Other Services
Electricity is either not an issue in most areas, or is not a significant cost contributor.

Survey #9 — Anaconda, Mt — Other (Non Profit)
As a non-profit, we see funding on the federal and state level dwindling. The Internet plays a big role in our operations.

Survey #13 — Minocqua, WI — Other (Chamber of .Commerce)
The area economy is based mainly on the tourism industry. J Mother nature plays a huge role in our success as does the price of gas. Labor market is very then and affordable housing is even thinner.

Survey #19 — Minnesota — Agriculture/Manufacturing
We also use a lot of natural gas that price has about 2x'd up. Our investments will be down, but we've had 5 years of heavy investment. Our finished goods prices, cheese, are at historically low prices, so sales should be up with improved cheese prices.

Survey #21 — North Dakota — Other Services
Electrical consumption and production capabilities are diverging, unfortunately in the wrong direction for the consumer. Huge investments and/or changes in life style will be necessary. I don't think public or private entities are ready for this problem. This problem alone could send us into a recession.

Survey #22 — Minnesota — Manufacturing
US dollar is too high, Canadian dollar too low. This has affected this company's ability to export. We are going to move to another country.

Survey #50 — Wisconsin — Other (Distribution)
Increasing costs, especially labor, are driving profits to unacceptable levels, causing facility shut downs and reduced services.

Survey #53 — Minnesota — Manufacturing
We are being impacted by three big costs that we can do little to impact — higher average wage increases, soaring medical costs and huge fuel increases (diesel and natural gas). The market tells us we don't have room for price increases — we don't have any choices but to raise prices more than we have in the past 10 years. Productivity improvements are getting tougher to come by. We have bought about all the new machinery we could buy. If volume slows, we will see negative productivity.

Survey #56 — Twin Cities — Construction
We are a earthwork/utility construction subcontractor. We are experiencing a notable reduction in private design-build plans from our customers; i.e., relative to previous two years. We do $50,000,000 of work/year and are anticipating a 2001 season slow down in Twin City region.

Survey #63 — South Dakota — Other (Mining)
Businesses tell me they predict a general slow-down by 6 months tell me their business is slow.

Survey #64 — Minnesota — Other Services
Our community depends on the agriculture segment of the economy. If Federal farm programs are not changed to address historically low commodity prices, we will see a major economic collapse in SW Minnesota.

Survey #72 — Minnesota — Agriculture
Ag sector has survived only due to large government outlays. A lot of pessimism exists. Farmers don't like getting the majority of their income from the Federal government. Too much uncertainty to make good long term decisions and commitments. Need market price improvements.

Survey 73 — South Dakota — Retail
We are a new car dealer (G.M.-Buick, Pontiac, G.M.C.) and all of "Chrysler" to include Jeep. Car prices are going up a very little. Pickups and SUVs sees to be raising higher. So far, higher gas prices, etc. has not affected our truck or SUV market. It may even get stronger if gas prices doesn't go too high. GMC Yukon and Yukon XL are doing outstanding.

Survey #74 — South Dakota — Other (Financial Services)
Government compliance paperwork has gotten out of hand! Requires 15-20% of my time to doe is and cross ts. We need less Federal intervention and regulation!!!

Survey #77 — Wisconsin — Other (Health Care)
Oil prices and labor shortages will drive up costs.

Survey #95 — Minnesota -- Construction
I believe consumers in this area are concerned about rising costs due to fuel costs, rising winter heating costs, rising costs of medical insurance premiums; while at the same time wages are not increasing enough to stay even. I believe this will cause consumers to spend less in other areas.

Survey #105 — North Dakota — Other Services
North Dakota and to a certain extent Grand Forks, is/are in a holding pattern. There is a great deal of anticipation and consideration of our next steps to improve the economy. Leadership will be key in providing this direction and action.

Survey #107 — Minnesota — Other (Truck Equipment distributor)
My MSA (Duluth-Superior) has declined in population by 15% since 1960. Operating a business dependent on the local economy with a declining population is our biggest concern.

Survey #109 — Montana -- Construction
#11 — We see increased energy costs as one of the most significant challenges of 2001 — BUT also a great opportunity to assist our customers with energy savings and local power generation options.

Survey #114 — South Dakota — Retail
Our biggest problem is finding employees, especially competent help.

Survey #118 — Twin Cities — Other (Utility)
We expect to see continued high natural gas prices, though somewhat lower than present.

Survey #123 — Montana — Other (Meat Processor)
Missoula, MT is not an industry friendly environment.

Survey #133 — Minnesota — Construction
Gas, oil and interest rates will moderate the growth down from 4 to 5 percent to 2 to 3 percent. Local government is causing an increase in housing cost. Housing is increasing at 3 times the increase in wages.

Survey #139 — Michigan — Retail
As a small business, we need tax relief. The government (state and federal) are slowly strangling us.

Survey #141 — South Dakota -- Construction
The closing of Homestake Mining will have a negative impact on my community, but our business base is regional and not local. Government compliance (regulations and their enforcement) is having a major impact on us.

Survey #143 — South Dakota -- Agriculture
Government continues to rave about our economy. Continuing mergers, failing infrastructure, people lacking retirement and health coverage, number of people employed at or near minimum wage etc.. Ect. Would suggest otherwise.