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:
- Moving average measures of activity reveal that most regions in Oregon are growing near or above their average paces of activity, with the Rogue Valley remaining an exception with below normal growth. Note that “zero” for these measures indicates relative average growth; each region has its own underlying growth rate.
- The Portland Metro area continues to outperform with measures of activity near levels that are typical for the region during economic expansions. The Eugene-Springfield measure was negatively impacted by weakness in the employment components and soft labor force growth. Low levels of initial claims, however, are supportive and suggest stronger employment growth ahead.
- A declining labor force is a particular weight on the Rogue Valley measure; recent trends stand in stark contrast to the steady labor force gains prior to the recession.
- The Salem area experienced stronger numbers during the past two months after some softening earlier in the year. Central Oregon numbers are also firmer, with strong residential sales boosting the measure. A continued high pace of home sales and rising prices should support higher levels of residential construction over time.
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.