The July 2015 Oregon Regional Economic Indexes of was released today. Full report is available here. We thank KeyBank for their generous support of this project.
July was another solid month for regional economies in Oregon. Highlights of the report include:
- Most regions in Oregon were growing above their average pace of activity during the month. Recall that “zero” for these measures indicates relative average growth; each region has its own underlying growth rate.
- Despite continued strong numbers in housing sales, which include existing housing, housing permits remain a negative factor in the Eugene-Springfield, Rogue Valley, and Salem regions and only a roughly neutral factor in the Portland and Central Oregon areas. Residential construction activity, particularly single family housing, remain restrained.
- Portland’s measure remained well-above average bolstered by neutral to positive contributions from almost all measures. Generally solid employment numbers boosted the non-Portland regions.
- Low unemployment rates contributed positively, while the labor force, which has been a negative force in recent months, was generally more supportive of measures.
- As expected, the Rogue Valley numbers bounced higher, more reflective of the underlying positive trends that were buried by the unusual – relative to past expansions – decline in the labor force. Growth in the Salem and Eugene-Springfield area remains solid although the measures are somewhat weaker than in past expansions.
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.