Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Weak but Improved: Oregon Regional Economic Indexes

Today the University of Oregon released the November 2011 Regional Economic Indexes for five of Oregon's metropolitan areas. For these indexes, a reading of "zero" corresponds to the average growth rate for that region between 1998 and 2011. So, a negative reading identifies slow growth relative to trend, and positive readings indicate faster-than-average growth.

According to the November 2011 summary, regional activity has improved from the lows of the recession, but remains weak. Portland is the exception; with a three-month moving average of -0.38, the state's largest metro area is just below average growth. The moving average values in other regions continue to hover near -1.0.

Here are a few highlights from Tim Duy, Director of the Oregon Economic Forum:

  • Central Oregon lagging as the after effects of the housing bubble continue to weigh heavily on that area.
  • The Salem area measure retreated after spiking in October as residential home sales and construction employment dragged down the measure.
  • The Rogue Valley region declined on the back of low levels of building permits coupled with relatively high unemployment.
  • Weakness in the components of the Eugene-Springfield measure was not dramatic by individual indicators, but the breadth of weakness caused the index to remain well below negative one.

No comments: