2015 Oregon Economic Forum – Save the Date

After Six Years of Recovery, Still Room to Run?

October 15, 2015
Portland Art Museum
07:30am – 10:30am
Doors open at 7am – Breakfast is served.
$60 per person / $440 for a table of eight



Our sponsors:

2015Sponsors4Please join us as we celebrate six years of economic recovery for the nation and Oregon. How much time remains for this expansion, what can we expect we expect for Oregon going forward? In addition, in his keynote address Jim Tankersley from the Washington Post will explore the recovery from the eyes of the middle-class. Has this group been left behind? Finally, we bring back crowd-favorite Brad DeLong from the University of California at Berkeley to serve as our guest moderator. We hope you can attend this special event.

2016 Economic and Financial Outlook
Tim Duy, Director, Oregon Economic Forum
Bruce McCain, Chief Investment Strategist, Key Private Bank

Past, Present, and Future of Oregon:  A Panel of the Most Recent State Economists
Mark McMullen, Oregon State Chief Economist
Tom Potiowsky, Portland State University
Paul Warner, Legislative Revenue Office

The Economic Recovery: Views from the Middle-Class
Jim Tankersley, Editor, Storyline, Washington Post

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.

June 2015 Oregon Regional Indicators

The June 2015 Oregon Regional Economic Indexes of  was released today.  Full report is available here.  We thank KeyBank for their generous support of this project.


Measures of activity strengthened in June across almost all of Oregon’s major metro areas. Highlights of the report include:

  • Most regions in Oregon are growing at or above their average pace of activity; the Rogue Valley is an exception, although that appears to be attributable to unusual data behavior. Labor force weakness dragged down the Rogue Valley measure, likely leading to an understatement of underlying activity in the region. Watch for revisions or upward correction in the measure. Recall that “zero” for these measures indicates relative average growth; each region has its own underlying growth rate.
  • Housing permits contributed positively in the Portland measure while having a neutral impact on the Central Oregon measure. Permits were a negative factor in remaining areas despite very strong performance in residential home sales. Although residential construction is generally stronger, in many regions it remains below normal levels.
  • Portland’s measure jumped to well above average, supported by a large gain in the trade, transportation, and utilities employment component. Moderating job growth has been a primary factor in the softening of the Central Oregon measure.
  • The Eugene-Springfield measure rebounded; the moving average measure, which smooths monthly variability, signaled slightly above-average growth. The Salem measure indicates the region continues its steady acceleration.

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.


May 2015 Oregon Regional Indicators

The May 2015 Oregon Regional Economic Indexes of  was released today.  Full report is available here.  We thank KeyBank for their generous support of this project.


In general measures of activity remained soft in May compared to earlier in the year. Still, all major metropolitan regions in Oregon are growing at or above their average pace of activity. Highlights of the report include: Continue Reading

April 2015 State of Oregon Economic Indicators

The April 2015 State of Oregon Economic Indexes of  was released today.  Full report is available here.  We thank KeyBank for their generous support of this project.


Oregon’s economic growth remained above average in April. Highlights of the report include:

  • The Oregon Measure of Economic Activity rose in April from a downwardly revised March number. The three-month moving average, which smooths month-to-month volatility in the measure, was 0.42, where “zero” for this measure indicates average growth over the 1990-present period. The manufacturing, household, and services sectors contributed positively to the measure.
  • Like last month, the construction sector’s contribution was negative, held down by below average residential permits and a decline in construction employment. In contrast, solid jobs gains supported the manufacturing sector.
  •  Low levels of initial unemployment claims, a low unemployment rate, and above-average consumer sentiment all helped the household sector make a positive contribution to the measure. Still, weak labor force numbers are largely canceling out the positive impact of declining unemployment on the measure. Service sector components were generally positive for the month, although a drop in financial sector employment adversely impacted the numbers.
  • The University of Oregon Index of Economic Indicators fell 0.3% in March; such declines are not unusual during more mature economic expansions. Most indicators were little to effectively unchanged during the month.
  • Residential building permits (smoothed) fell again. Although home sales are robust in many parts of the state, this has yet to translate into more normal levels of new construction. The Oregon weight distance tax (a measure of trucking activity) and core manufacturing orders (a national indicator) both gained during the month. Average weekly hours worked in manufacturing fell, but overall continues to track within an above-average range.

The two indicators suggest ongoing growth in Oregon at an above average pace of activity. The ongoing US economic expansion provides sufficient support to expect that Oregon’s economy will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.