May 2017 Regional Economic Indicators

The May 2017 Oregon Regional Economic Indicators  was released today.  Full report is available here.  We thank KeyBank for their generous support of this project.

Measures of activity indicate that most regions continue to grow at a fairly rapid pace. Highlights of this month’s report include:

  • For all regions, moving average measures (which smooth monthly volatility) remain above zero, indicating above trend activity. Recall that these figures measure relative average growth; each region has its own underlying growth rate.
  • Portland area growth appears to have moderated somewhat from the very rapid pace of 2015, but remains in a range consistent with past expansions. Other regions remain at a higher pace even as the expansion matures.
  • New housing activity as measured by permits generally remains a weak spot with the exception of Portland and Central Oregon. Note that in neither place is the pace of construction sufficient to prevent rising home prices.
  • Labor market indicators made positive contributions to all regions. Employment components were generally positive in May. Record low unemployment rates statewide (note the particularly strong contributions in Salem and the Rogue Valley) indicate that labor force growth, though solid, is not keeping up with job growth.
  • The solid pace of economic activity is being reflected in the large positive contributions to the municipal waste components.