Oregon Business Conditions Survey

The Oregon Economic Forum is launching a new project as part of our comprehensive effort to assess the state’s economy.  And we need your help!

We are asking that you participate in a survey designed to track business conditions in Oregon.  This short survey ask questions about business conditions at your firm, in your industry, and in your geographic area.  Quotes from certain open-ended questions may be featured in quarterly publications detailing the results of the survey.

We are looking to build a contact list of firms willing to participate with a goal of launching the first survey by the second quarter of 2015.  If you are interested in participating, please contact me at duy@uoregon.edu.

A sample of the survey is available here – at the end you will have another opportunity to participate.

Thank you for your support of the Oregon Economic Forum and the University of Oregon.

September 2014 Oregon Regional Economic Indexes

The September 2014 Oregon Regional Economic Indexes of  was released today.  Full report is available here.  We thank KeyBank for their generous support of this project.

EugeneChartSep14

September numbers for regional measures of activity revealed some monthly volatility, but underlying trends are holding generally steady.  Highlights of the report include:

  • Moving average measures of activity – which smooth monthly volatility – indicate that the Portland Metro, Eugene-Springfield, and Central Oregon regions are growing near or above their average paces of activity, while the Rogue Valley and Salem areas are at somewhat below normal growth.
  • Weakness in the employment components and an unusual jump in initial unemployment claims weighed on the Portland measure, pulling it into negative territory for the month. Such drops, however, are not uncommon; the underlying trend is still above average for the region.
  • Generally solid employment data supported the Eugene-Springfield measure, offsetting a negative contribution from housing permits. A particularly weak housing permits number dragged down the Salem measure. While housing sales were neutral or better across the state, this component provided a particularly solid boost to the Central Oregon measure.
  • Softer labor force growth weighted on many measures, particularly the Rogue Valley. While somewhat disappointing after recent strong labor force contributions to the Rogue Valley measure, note that falling unemployment rates in the region resulted in a nearly neutral contribution from that indicator.
  • I anticipate the next report will be generally stronger given the large 9,900 job gain reported statewide for October.

Reminder:  The regional measures are prone to potentially large swings due to the volatility of some of the underlying data, particularly measures of employment.  The moving average measures smooth out much of that volatility.

Kind Words From Brad DeLong

Via Equitable Growth:

As all of you know by now, I am a big fan of Tim Duy of the University of Oregon and his Fed Watch. Here is a sample–ten very useful and informative takes from the past half-year or so:

Always judicious, always giving a fair shake to all the currents of thought in the Federal Reserve, to the data, and to the live and serious models of how the economy works.

Read Tim Duy, and you have a sophisticated, broad, and truly balanced understanding of what the Federal Reserve is thinking, what it is doing, why it is doing it, and what the likely outcomes of its actions are. That is a package that is very hard to find anyplace else.

It still surprises me that Tim Duy does not get significantly more airplay in the general conversational mix than he does…

August 2014 Oregon Regional Economic Indexes

The August 2014 Oregon Regional Economic Indexes of  was released today.  Full report is available here.  We thank KeyBank for their generous support of this project.

MedfordChartAug14

August once again saw mixed economic activity across different regions in Oregon. Highlights of the report include:

  • The Rogue Valley measure jumped to its highest level since 2007 on the back of a significant contribution from the civilian labor force component. The region’s labor force has grown during the past two months, breaking a long downtrend and possibly signaling that growth momentum is accelerating.
  • Weak building permit data weighed down both the Salem and Eugene-Springfield measures.  Per usual, one should take a cautious read on sharp changes in the individual components and look toward the moving average measures to see the underlying trend.
  • Note that the labor force component contributed positively to all regions. Low levels of initial unemployment claims continue to signal ongoing job growth while falling unemployment rates are contributing positively to almost all regional measures.
  • Moving average measures of activity – which smooth monthly volatility – reveal that most regions in Oregon are growing near or above their average paces of activity, with the Rogue Valley remaining an exception with somewhat below normal growth.  Still, the Rogue Valley measures show sustained improvement over the past year.

Reminder:  The regional measures are prone to potentially large swings due to the volatility of some of the underlying data, particularly measures of employment.  The moving average measures smooth out much of that volatility.