The March 2016 State of 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 maintained their momentum in April. Highlights of the report include:
- The measures for all regions continue to indicate above average growth (both the “raw” April numbers and the moving average measures of activity, which smooth monthly volatility). Recall that “zero” for these measures indicates relative average growth; each region has its own underlying growth rate.
- New housing units permitted made a near-neutral contribution in all areas with the exception of Salem. New home construction in Salem continues to lag despite experiencing strong demand for housing seen in other areas of the state. Rising home prices in the Portland area remain a supportive component of that index.
- Employment components of the measures were generally near-neutral to positive. Broad measures of the labor market – unemployment, labor force, and initial unemployment claims – made positive contributions to the measures for almost all areas (the labor force made a near neutral contribution in the Rogue Valley).
- Growing populations and more economic activity continue to boost municipal waste measures while airport passenger activity is increasing at a normal rate, thus making a neutral contribution to the measures.
- Overall, the economic expansion continues to felt across the state with the largest cities experiencing growth consistent with that of 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.