May 2014 Oregon Regional Economic Indexes

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


Regional economic activity in Oregon was generally solid in May.  Highlights of the release include:

  • Recent observations indicate that the Portland Metro and Eugene-Springfield regions are experiencing above average growth while growth is closer to normal in the Central Oregon and Salem regions.  The Rogue Valley continues to grow at a below normal pace.
  • Due to a surge in multifamily housing, building permits made a solid contribution to the Portland measure.  Building permits also positively supported both the Central Oregon and the Rogue Valley regions.
  • Residential sales were mixed, with a substantial positive contribution only for Central Oregon.  Construction employment was weaker in most areas, although this may reflect volatility of the underlying data rather than a change in the industry.
  • Initial jobless claims remain low, providing support to the measures and pointing toward ongoing solid job growth.  The unemployment rate and labor force components were a drag on the Rogue Valley measure.
  • The unusual drop in the Salem measure in April was reversed in May, as expected.

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.