November 2017 Oregon Statewide Economic Indicators

This is the University of Oregon State of Oregon Economic Indicators for November 2017. The release date is January 10, 2018. Special thanks to our sponsor, KeyBank

Link to full report here.

The Oregon Measure of Economic Activity fell back in November after jumping higher the previous month.  Highlights of this month’s report include:

  • The decline was largely anticipated; fairly volatile employment data created large movements in the measure in recent months that overstates the volatility of the economy. The moving average measure, which smooths out the volatility, continues to track near a value of roughly 1.0, consistent with previous expansions but somewhat below the pace of earlier this year (“zero” indicates average growth over the 1990-present period).
  •  All sectors covered contributed positively to the measure. Weakness was largely contained to the employment indicators.
  • The University of Oregon Index of Economic Indicators edged down in November after a solid gain the previous month.
  • Employment services (mostly temporary help workers) declined modestly, while initial unemployment claims edged higher. The latter remains at a very low level consistent with solid job growth.
  • For the most part, changes in individual index components were modest.

Together, these indicators suggest ongoing growth in Oregon at an above average pace of activity.

Media Contacts:

Tim Duy – 541.346.4660 (w)

October 2017 Oregon Regional Economic Indicators

The University of Oregon Regional Economic Indexes for October 2017 was released today, December 29, 2017. We thank KeyBank for their generous support of this project.

Click here for full report.

Oregon’s major metropolitan areas entered the final quarter of 2017 on solid footing. Highlights of this month’s report include:

  • For all regions covered by this report, both raw and moving average measures (which smooth monthly volatility) remain above zero, indicating above trend pace of activity.
  • Housing numbers maintain the patterns of recent years, with solid sales activity across all regions yet tepid new construction activity.
  • While both the Portland and Central Oregon regions have seen housing activity close to somewhat above normal (a contribution of 0 to the measure), remaining areas have remained below normal as gains in the numbers on the back of a surge in multi-family permits, such as Salem this month, prove to be largely temporary.
  • Employment activity has been generally solid across regions and industries. Moreover, the solid job growth has contributed to sharply lower unemployment rates, generating large contributions to all measures. Low initial unemployment claims suggest employers will continue to add jobs.
  • Still, job growth is slowing statewide as the expansion matures; regions are likely at or past peak growth rates for this cycle although there is no indication the economic expansion that began in 2009 will end this year.

Media Contacts:
Tim Duy – 541.346.4660 (w)

October 2017 Statewide Economic Indicators

This is the University of Oregon State of Oregon Economic Indicators for October 2017. The release date is December 4, 2017. Special thanks to our sponsor, KeyBank

Link to full report here.

The Oregon Measure of Economic Activity bounced higher in October on the back of surging job gains.  Highlights of this month’s report include:

  • Note that the jobs numbers have been very volatile in recent months and not likely reflective of the underlying pace of activity in Oregon. Consequently, it is important to follow the three-month moving average, which smooths monthly volatility. The moving average measure has been tracking at a more subdued value of roughly 1.0, consistent with previous expansions but somewhat below the pace of earlier this year (“zero” indicates average growth over the 1990-present period).
  • Aside from the employment components, a number of factors contributed positively to the measure. In particular, manufacturing rebounded solidly this year while broad labor market indicators such as the unemployment rate, labor force growth, and initial unemployment claims remain indicative of underlying economic stress.
  • The University of Oregon Index of Economic Indicators rose in October, offsetting the weakness of the past two months.
  • Employment services (mostly temporary help workers), average weekly hours worked in manufacturing, consumer sentiment (smoothed), and the interest rate spread all contributed to the rise in the Index.
  • Initial unemployment claims hover near historic lows and suggests ongoing job growth. Remaining components were little changed.

Together, these indicators suggest ongoing growth in Oregon at an above average pace of activity.

Media Contacts:

Tim Duy – 541.346.4660 (w)

September 2017 Oregon Regional Economic Indicators

The University of Oregon Regional Economic Indexes for September 2017 was released today, November 20, 2017. We thank KeyBank for their generous support of this project.

Link to full report here.

Regional activity across Oregon’s major metropolitan areas remains at a pace consistent with previous expansions. Highlights of this month’s report include:

  • For all regions covered by this report, moving average measures (which smooth monthly volatility) remain above zero, indicating above trend activity.
  • The Portland metro area looks to have lost some momentum in recent months, but watch for downward revisions of jobs numbers that reduces the reported strength in the first part of this year. This would suggest that for this cycle, Portland’s growth peaked in late 2015 and early 2016.
  • Jobs numbers also boosted the Eugene-Springfield measures this year; revisions may reveal a somewhat more subdued pace of activity more consistent with that of 2016. Salem’s numbers have held consistently strong for almost two years.
  • The pace of activity in Central Oregon appears to be moderating somewhat this year, but still indicates a healthy pace of activity.
  • Note that some slowing in the pace of activity is expected as the economy is now in a more mature stage of the business cycle.

Media Contacts:

Tim Duy – 541.346.4660 (w)

September 2017 Statewide Economic Indicators

The University of Oregon State of Oregon Economic Indicators for September 2017 was released today. The release date is November 1, 2017. Special thanks to our sponsor, KeyBank

Link to full report here.

A second consecutive weak jobs report weighed on the Oregon Measure of Economic Activity in September while the August measure was revised upward into positive territory. Highlights of this month’s report include:

  • The three-month moving average stood at 0.67, still in expansionary territory (“zero” indicates average growth over the 1990-present period). Similar to August, of the four major sectors comprising the index, only the service sector, containing only employment components, made a negative contribution to the measure.
  • Although the Oregon Employment Department reported a second month of job losses in Oregon, the low level of initial unemployment claims indicates a still solid job market. Note that the employment data is subject to sometimes large revisions.
  • The University of Oregon Index of Economic Indicators fell again in September. The UO index fell in four of the last six months and has tracked sideways almost all year. This behavior is consistent with that of an economy in a mature expansion.
  • Softer employment services payrolls (largely temporary employment) and initial unemployment claims weighed on the measure; the latter remains near historic lows and suggests ongoing job growth.
  • Core (nondefense, nonaircraft) manufacturing new orders made a solid gain, extending the recent upward trend and indicating a clear rebound in spending on business equipment. Building permits (smoothed) rose rose while remaining components were little changed.

Together, these indicators suggest ongoing growth in Oregon at an above average pace of activity.

Media Contacts:
Tim Duy – 541.346.4660 (w)