The May 2015 Oregon Regional Economic Indexes of was released today. Full report is available here. We thank KeyBank for their generous support of this project.
In general measures of activity remained soft in May compared to earlier in the year. Still, all major metropolitan regions in Oregon are growing at or above their average pace of activity. Highlights of the report include:
- Weak construction employment numbers dragged down all measures expect Portland’s; the Eugene-Springfield measure suffered a large negative contribution from this component. Watch for offsetting gains in subsequent months or revisions to previously published data.
- Although strong residential sales make positive contributions to the measures, new permits remain neutral to negative across the state. The housing recovery has yet to generate consistently above average readings on new home construction.
- Portland’s measure tracked sideways for a third consecutive month. Moderating job growth has been a primary factor in the decline of the Central Oregon measure.
- The Eugene-Springfield measure sunk into negative territory, but the moving average measure, which smooths monthly variability, held near zero, indicating normal growth.
- As anticipated, the Rogue Valley continues to rebound from a sharp decline in March. While data in other regions softened this spring, the Salem measure is pushing comfortably into the above average zone.
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.