Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rail line and new construction projects up, UO Index down

Two local news stories show things on the upswing for rail and building construction:

The Register-Guard reports that the rail line service extending from Eugene up to Coos Bay is expected to reopen next week, allowing shippers to avoid the higher transportation costs incurred after the rail line closed four years ago. Get more details on the Coos Bay Rail Link in the full story.

In the Portland metro area, construction and planning has begun on two large-scale housing and commercial building projects. The Oregonian reports that a new housing development in Wilsonville, named Brenchley Estates, will consist of 720 single-family homes and 324 apartment units. In Beaverton, work is underway on 45 Central, a 100,000-square-foot, mixed-use development that will include condos and commercial space. Read more about these projects in the full article.

Statewide, the University of Oregon Index of Economic indicators doesn't follow this upswing:

The UO Index fell for the fifth consecutive month in August, and has dropped 4.4 percent since March. Economist Tim Duy reports that five of the seven index components declined over the period, and he notes that if this trend continues, it could foreshadow a recession. Read more in the full UO Index August release.

In related news, The Oregonian also reported that economists in Oregon pin the probability of another recession at or near 40 percent. The article cites our current and former chief state economists, and also cites the UO Index. The story also offers this quote from Tim Duy: "The rapidity with which things have deteriorated is kind of distressing." Get more details in the full article.

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