December 2019 Oregon Statewide Economic Indicators

This is the University of Oregon State of Oregon Economic Indicators for December 2019. The release date February 6, 2020. Special thanks to our sponsor, KeyBank!

Link to full report (with charts!) here.

The Oregon Measure of Economic Activity rose in December to 0.69 compared to a downwardly revised 0.45 in November. The University of Oregon Index of Economic Indicators fell 0.6% in December. Highlights of this month’s report include:

  • The manufacturing sector drag on the Measure of Activity returned in December; the sector has stabilized but remains soft. In contrast, multi-family home permitting bounced back in December, pulling up the contribution from the construction sector indicators.
  • The household and services sectors continue to make positive contributions to the measure, but note that the solid job numbers propping up the latter may be revised downward. Job growth in Oregon has softened as the expansion has matured.
  • Initial unemployment claims rose while employment services (primarily temporary help workers) fell. The latter data has been very volatile in the past year while the former remains near record lows.
  • Orders for core capital goods remain flat while the Oregon weight distance tax has stabilized after an unusually large drop in October. Manufacturing hours worked firmed up in December.
  • The spread between long- and short-term interest rates rose further; this typically foreshadows improving economic conditions.

The combination of measures in this report suggests ongoing economic expansion albeit at a slower pace of growth compared to last year.

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