2015 Oregon Economic Forum – Save the Date

After Six Years of Recovery, Still Room to Run?

October 15, 2014
Portland Art Museum
07:30am – 10:30am
Doors open at 7am – Breakfast is served.
$60 per person / $440 for a table of eight

Presenting Sponsor


Please 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.

March 2015 State of Oregon Economic Indicators

The University of Oregon State of Oregon Economic Indicators for March 2015 is now available here. The release date is May 7, 2015. Special thanks to our sponsor, KeyBank.

Chart2Mar15The Oregon Measure of Economic Activity edged up in March and remains consistent with conditions of above average growth. The three-month moving average, which smooths month-to-month volatility in the measure, was 0.61, where “zero” for this measure indicates average growth over the 1990-present period.

Highlights of the report include: Continue Reading

February 2015 Oregon Regional Economic Indicators

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


The economic expansion continued across Oregon in February. Highlights of the report include:

Moving average measures of activity – which smooth monthly volatility – indicate that all areas are growing near or above their average pace of activity. Recall that “zero” for these measures indicates relative average growth; each region has its own underlying growth rate.

  • Salem’s measure continues to hover near zero, held down by a low level of building permits and a declining labor force despite solid job growth in the region. Housing permits also remain a drag on the Eugene-Springfield measure. The Rogue Valley region continued its slow climb back to a pace of growth more consistent with past expansions; construction employment made a solid contribution in February.
  • The Central Oregon measure retreated, not unexpected after a spike in January. The underlying trend, however, remains solid with an above average pace of growth. Note that new housing permits made a nearly neutral contribution to the measure.
  • The Portland metro area posted strong numbers once again, maintaining an acceleration in activity that began the latter half of 2014.
  • Low unemployment is evident in that indicator’s positive contributions for all areas, and the low level of initial unemployment claims suggests ongoing job growth is likely to continue throughout the state. Most metro areas are reporting solid housing markets, which should filter through to additional new construction as the year progresses.

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.

February 2015 State of Oregon Economic Indicators

The February 2015 State of Oregon Economic Indicators is now available here.  Special thanks to KeyBank for their generous support of this project.

Although the Oregon Measure of Economic Activity dipped in February, underlying trends suggests growth remains above average and similar to that experienced in past expansions. Highlights of the report include:

  • The Oregon Measure of Economic Activity fell to 0.41 in Feburary from 1.10 the previous month. The three-month moving average, which smooths month-to-month volatility in the measure, stood at 0.71, where “zero” for this measure indicates average growth over the 1990-present period.
  • The manufacturing, construction, and household sectors contributed positively to the measure, while the services sector was negative. All manufacturing components were positive; average weekly hours worked in the sector was particularly supportive.
  • Initial unemployment claims, consumer confidence, and unemployment (which declined further) again made positive contributions to the household sector. Note however, that the improvement in the unemployment rate was driven in part by a decline in the labor force, which made a negative contribution to the measure.
  • The University of Oregon Index of Economic Indicators gained 0.4% in February for the sixth consecutive months of gains. Initial unemployment claims continue to track at historically low levels while employment services payrolls (mostly temporary help positions) edged down. The low levels of claims suggest job growth will continue at a solid pace.
  • Residential building permits (smoothed) continue to track sideways; new housing construction remains muted and is expected to recover only slowly. The Oregon weight distance tax (a measure of trucking activity) rose. Average hours worked in manufacturing rose although core manufacturing orders have been sluggish in recent months. Consumer sentiment (smoothed) – still supported by lower energy prices – rose again.

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.