February 2017 Statewide Economic Indicators

The February 2017 State of Oregon Economic Indexes was released today.  Full report is available here.  We thank KeyBank for their generous support of this project.

Oregon’s economy continues to make gains in 2017. Highlights of this month’s report include:

  • The Oregon measure of economic activity was nearly unchanged in February at 0.86 compared to 0.84 the previous month. The three-month moving average, which smooths month-to-month volatility in the measure, was 0.69 (“zero” indicates average growth over the 1990-present period), roughly unchanged over the previous three months.
  • All components of the manufacturing sector made positive contributions to the measure as the sector rebounds from the softness of 2015 and 2016.
  • The construction sector received support from faster job growth. Building permits made a neutral contribution but are still low in comparison to past expansions.
  • The University of Oregon Index of Economic Indicators rose 0.6% in February. Initial unemployment claims fell, continuing to hover in a historically low range consistent with additional job growth.
  • Initial unemployment claims rose from the historically low levels seen in recent months. The series may have fallen as low as it is likely to fall. Employment services payrolls (largely temporary help workers) edged upward. On net, both measures suggest continued job growth.
  • The Oregon Weight Distance tax, a measure of trucking activity, core manufacturing orders for capital goods and average weekly hours for manufacturing workers have all been relatively stabile in recent months.
  • Consumer sentiment (smoothed) rose for the third consecutive month. This gain has yet to be matched by an increase in household spending data.

Together, these indicators suggest ongoing growth in Oregon at an above average pace of activity.