December 2014 State of Oregon Economic Indicators

The December 2014 State of Oregon Economic Indicators is now available here.  Special thanks to KeyBank for their generous support of this project.


Oregon experienced another month of solid economic activity in December. Highlights of the report include:

  • The Oregon Measure of Economic Activity mostly held the gains of the previous month to stay above 1.0. The three-month moving average, which smooths month-to-month volatility in the measure, rose to 0.98, where “zero” for this measure indicates average growth over the 1990-present period.
  • Manufacturing data remains generally positive, while residential building permits – still the weak spot in this recovery – made a negative contribution to the measures. Initial unemployment claims and consumer confidence both supported the household sector, the latter likely driven higher by the decline in gas prices.
  • The University of Oregon Index of Economic Indicators gained 0.2% in December. Initial unemployment claims continue to move sideways at very low levels consistent with continued job growth while employment services payrolls (mostly temporary help positions) partially reversed November’s decline.
  •  Residential building permits (smoothed), the Oregon weight distance tax (a measure of trucking activity), average hours worked in manufacturing, and core manufacturing orders were all largely unchanged.

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.