DULUTH, MN (KDAL) - A research program is being launched to measure specific economic indicators for the 15 county area of northeast Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. The National Bank of Commerce is coordinating and funding the program that will use economic experts and students at UMD, the College of St. Scholastica and UWS to gather and compile the data. The bank CEO, Steve Burgess, made the announcement Monday saying the information will be used by area decision makers for strategic planning, expansion and hiring considerations. Some of the indicators to be gathered and analyzed include business and consumer confidence, demographic trends, real estate trends and key local industry sector economic activity. The first Regional Economic Indicators Forum will be held at the DECC in March to present the findings.