2005 SALES FORECAST +3.3% WEST NORTH CENTRAL

An improving manufacturing climate, solid housing growth and a bumper crop in corn in Minnesota and North Dakota all are contributing to a pretty economic picture in the upper Midwest. The robust Minneapolis economy is posting solid numbers in the residential, commercial and industrial markets, according to several sources. While the Minneapolis housing market is currently a bit sluggish, with over nearly 20,000 total building permits issued through September, it's one of the largest home-building markets in the United States. The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis says the city and its suburbs added 46,000 households and almost 100,000 people between 2000 and 2003. Surprisingly active housing markets in the Dakotas and decent manufacturing numbers in the Kansas City and St. Louis markets add breadth to the economic recovery in this region.

ELECTRICAL WHOLESALERS' SALES
(in millions of dollars)
EW Estimates
Final Final Final Final Forecast Forecast
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
West North Central 3,768.2 3,657.6 3,645.3 3,710.9 3,952.8 4,082.9
Iowa 497.0 482.4 480.7 489.4 521.3 538.5
Kansas 379.8 368.7 367.4 374.1 398.4 411.6
Minnesota 1,339.9 1,300.5 1,296.1 1,319.5 1,405.5 1,451.8
Missouri 1,166.2 1,132.0 1,128.2 1,148.5 1,223.3 1,263.6
Nebraska 152.9 148.4 147.9 150.6 160.4 165.7
North Dakota 95.7 92.9 92.6 94.3 100.4 103.7
South Dakota 136.7 132.7 132.2 134.6 143.4 148.1
EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS
Actual in thousands
EC M C G
West North Central 59,006 1,229.2 5,400.7 1,488.4
Iowa 8,690 221.9 766.0 222.3
Cedar Rapids MSA 753 17.2 62.7 10.7
Des Moines MSA 1,909 20.2 185.1 35.7
Dubuque MSA 177 9.4 30.3 3.5
Iowa City MSA 356 5.2 31.0 26.6
Sioux City MSA 305 10.3 33.8 7.1
Waterloo-Cedar Falls MSA 401 14.1 39.4 10.2
Kansas 6,999 172.0 674.4 228.2
Lawrence MSA 438 3.5 25.4 12.3
Topeka MSA 536 6.5 54.3 22.4
Wichita MSA 2,587 57.3 142.3 33.3
Minnesota 16,773 354.4 1,526.4 363.4
Duluth MSA 649 7.0 68.5 20.4
Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA 11,359 210.6 1,017.8 213.0
Rochester MSA 409 10.5 64.6 7.4
St. Cloud MSA NA 17.0 50.6 11.7
Missouri 17,112 317.3 1,551.5 384.4
Kansas City MSA NA 83.9 542.1 128.1
St. Louis MSA NA 143.2 822.2 138.5
Springfield MSA 677 17.3 103.9 17.6
Nebraska 5,337 101.7 486.0 152.6
Lincoln MSA 1,129 15.6 85.1 34.0
Omaha MSA 2,745 31.3 252.7 50.7
North Dakota 1,733 23.6 178.0 67.3
Bismarck MSA 288 2.8 31.9 10.2
Fargo-Moorhead MSA 674 8.3 62.3 13.9
Grand Forks MSA 260 3.3 26.7 11.0
South Dakota 2,362 38.3 218.4 70.2
Rapid City MSA 476 3.5 35.6 6.6
Sioux Falls MSA 725 11.9 77.2 9.9

NA — Not available

MSA — Metropolitan Statistical Area

PMSA — Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area

CMSA — Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area

EC — Electrical contractor employees for April 2004. Electrical Wholesaling estimates these numbers based on Current Employment Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau's County Business Patterns.

M — Manufacturing employees for August 2004. Source: Current Employment Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

C — Commercial account employees (professional and business services, retail trade, financial activities, educational and health services, leisure and hospitality, and other services) for August 2004.

Source: Current Employment Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

G — Government employees for August 2004. Source: Current Employment Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics