2014 Oregon Economic Forum — Save the Date October 16, 2014

(mostly) Beyond Macroeconomics

October 16, 2014
Portland Art Museum
07:30am – 10:30am
Doors open at 7am – Breakfast is served.
$60 per person / $440 for a table of eight

Registration now available!


Believe it or not, the current economic expansion will be five years old this summer, making the recession something of a distant memory.  Of course, the business cycle is not dead – at best it is just in remission.  That remission provides an excellent opportunity for this year’s Oregon Economic Forum to address a broader array of issues, including the impacts of marijuana legalization and the pattern of migration that may shape Oregon’s economy in the future.  In addition, we are excited to have Doug Elliott, Wall Street veteran currently with the Brookings Institution, to give his insights into the job Wall Street should be doing for Main Street.  But we won’t ignore the business cycle entirely!  Forum Director Tim Duy kicks off our annual event with his thoughts on the shape and length of the current expansion.


Tim Duy, Director, Oregon Economic Forum, University of Oregon
“Economic Review and Preview”

Ben Hansen, Assistant Professor, University of Oregon
“Implications of Legalizing:  Evidence From Medicinal Marijuana”

Mark McMullen, State Economist, Oregon Office of Economic Analysis
“Destination Oregon”

Doug Elliott, Brookings Institution
“Making Wall Street Work for Main Street” (Keynote)

Detailed list of speakers and topics available here!

Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsor KeyBank, our silver sponsor the Portland Business Journal, and our bronze sponsors the Port of Portland, Providence Health Plan, Langley, and the Portland Business Alliance.


Forward Guidance Heading for a Change

The lackluster August employment report clearly defied expectations (including my own) for a strong number to round out the generally positive pattern of recent data.  That said, one number does not make a trend, and the monthly change in nonfarm payrolls is notoriously volatile.  The underlying pattern of improvement remains in tact, and thus the employment report did not alleviate the need to adjust the Fed’s forward guidance, allow there is a less pressing need to do so at the next meeting.  In any event, the days of the “considerable time” language are numbered.

Nonfarm payrolls gained just 142k in August while the unemployment rate ticked back down to 6.1%.  In general, the employment report is consistent with steady progress in the context of data that Fed Chair Janet Yellen has identified in the past:


Continue reading at Tim Duy’s Fed Watch

June 2014 Oregon Regional Economic Indexes

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


Economic activity across regional economies was mixed in June, with the construction employment component a significant drag on most measures. Employment data, however, tends to be volatile, and subsequent revisions of the data are likely to minimize some of the recent weakness.  Highlights of the release include:

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Heading Into Jackson Hole

The Kansas City Federal Reserve’s annual Jackson Hole conference is next week, and all eyes are looking for signs that Fed Chair Janet Yellen will continue to chart a dovish path for monetary policy well into next year.  Indeed, the conference title itself -  ”Re-Evaluating Labor Market Dynamics” – points in that direction, as it emphasizes a topic that is near and dear to Yellen’s heart.  My expectation is that no hawkish surprises emerge next week.  Despite continued improvement in labor markets, Yellen will push the Fed to hold back on aggressively tightening monetary policy.  And with inflation still below target, wage growth constrained, and inflation expectations locked down, she holds all the leverage to make that happen….

Continue reading at Tim Duy’s Fed Watch