The January 2015 Oregon Regional Economic Indexes of was released today. Full report is available here. We thank KeyBank for their generous support of this project.
Regional economies rocketed into the New Year with solid growth in January. Highlights of the report include:
- Moving average measures of activity – which smooth monthly volatility – indicate that all areas are growing near or above their average pace of activity. Recall that “zero” for these measures indicates relative average growth; each region has its own underlying growth rate.
- Residential building activity remains weak across most regions, although permits made neutral to positive contributions in Central Oregon and Salem. Note that although building permits remains below levels typically seen in expansions, they are generally up in most regions.
- Construction employment was positive across the state; the sector made a large contribution in Central Oregon, helping propel the measure to it’s highest level since 2006 (the moving average measure, however, indicates a more tempered pace of underlying growth).
- Employment indicators are generally supportive for the measures; initial unemployment claims suggest ongoing employment gains in the months ahead. Unemployment rates have fallen to the point that they make a solid positive contributions to all measures.
- This report includes revisions to the employment data.
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.