The August 2014 Oregon Regional Economic Indexes of was released today. Full report is available here. We thank KeyBank for their generous support of this project.
August once again saw mixed economic activity across different regions in Oregon. Highlights of the report include:
- The Rogue Valley measure jumped to its highest level since 2007 on the back of a significant contribution from the civilian labor force component. The region’s labor force has grown during the past two months, breaking a long downtrend and possibly signaling that growth momentum is accelerating.
- Weak building permit data weighed down both the Salem and Eugene-Springfield measures. Per usual, one should take a cautious read on sharp changes in the individual components and look toward the moving average measures to see the underlying trend.
- Note that the labor force component contributed positively to all regions. Low levels of initial unemployment claims continue to signal ongoing job growth while falling unemployment rates are contributing positively to almost all regional measures.
- Moving average measures of activity – which smooth monthly volatility – reveal that most regions in Oregon are growing near or above their average paces of activity, with the Rogue Valley remaining an exception with somewhat below normal growth. Still, the Rogue Valley measures show sustained improvement over the past year.
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.