The March 2017 State of Oregon Economic Indexes was released today. Full report is available here. We thank KeyBank for their generous support of this project.
The headline measure of Oregon’s economic activity softened in March but underlying trends indicate that growth remains solid. Highlights of the report include:
- The three-month moving average, which smooths volatility in the measure, was 0.73 (“zero” indicates average growth over the 1990-present period), virtually unchanged for five consecutive months.
- The manufacturing sector again made a positive contribution to the index as the sector heals from a slowdown that began in 2015. The construction sector made a neutral contribution as the employment components cancelled each other out and housing permits held near average levels (although low for expansions).
- The University of Oregon Index of Economic Indicators rose 0.2% in March while February’s number was revised higher. Initial unemployment claims fell and remains near historical lows; strong underlying demand means a low level of layoffs.
- The Oregon Weight Distance tax, a measure of trucking activity, core manufacturing orders for capital goods and average weekly hours continue to hold relatively steady.
- Consumer sentiment (smoothed) rose again although most indicators suggest the consumer spending was soft in the first quarter of 2017. This may, however, be related to a recent issues in accurately adjusting first quarter data to account for seasonal impacts.
- Together, these indicators suggest ongoing growth in Oregon at an above average pace of activity.
Together, these indicators suggest ongoing growth in Oregon at an above average pace of activity.