West North Central Regional Forecast

Iowa • Kansas • Minnesota • Missouri • Nebraska • North Dakota • South Dakota

Good times or bad, we all still have to eat, and this region’s focus on agriculture and food processing industries should help insulate it from some of the economic maladies facing other regions. However, homebuilding is soft throughout these heartland states, and the office market in the region’s largest cities is slow, too. Kansas City, Mo., Minneapolis and St. Louis all have downtown vacancy rates of at least 15 percent. Detroit’s auto woes affect this region and Chrysler is closing one plant in the St. Louis area and is cutting shifts at another. On the flip side, there definitely are some bright spots in this region’s economy. Construction of new downtown ballparks in Minneapolis and Omaha, Neb., and wind farm construction are providing much-needed jobs to the area. Kansas City continues to enjoy construction near its new downtown arena and by NASCAR’s Kansas Speedway.

Back to the 2009 Market Planning Guide