Local businesses are optimistic about St. Louis’ economy thanks to a strong third quarter. Hiring rates are climbing as the labor market improves. Additionally, improvements in the region’s commercial and residential real estate markets as well as commercial lending show consumers are growing more confident.
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ Third Quarter 2016 Burgundy Book reports that the metropolitan area’s unemployment rate is 4.9%. Employment growth is trending above the national average, particularly in the private service-providing sector. Business contacts are reporting increases wages from one year ago and expectations that increases will continue through the end of the year.
New and existing home sales in St. Louis are rising rapidly. Home sales continue to outpace the national average while residential construction, while modest, is still higher than last year’s rate.
The positive uptick in construction carries over to speculative and build-to-suit industrial projects. According to the Burgundy Book, “Almost twice as much industrial space is currently under construction in St. Louis compared with a year ago,” indicating the region’s continued growth.