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2nd consecutive decline for Oregon economy

August 5, 2010

By Tim Duy,
Oregon Economic Forum

sponsor, KeyBank.

The University of Oregon Index of Economic Indicators™ fell 0.6% to 87.5 (1997=100) from a revised May figure of 88.0.  This is the second consecutive decline.  Further declines in Oregon employment services payrolls and the interest rate spread drove June’s decline, with other indicators generally stronger.

Highlights of the report include:

•    Labor market weakness persisted in June.
Initial unemployment claims drifted down, but remain above this year’s low in March and continue to hover near a level consistent with weak job growth at best.  Similarly, employment services payrolls – largely temporary hiring – dropped for a second month to the lowest level since the cyclical low last October.  This drop is discouraging as it suggests deterioration in hiring demand, which should be strengthening at this stage of the recovery.

Residential building permits (smoothed) fell again in June, although the pace of the decline moderated compared to the previous month.  Housing activity simply remains anemic in the face of tighter credit conditions for home mortgages and persistently weak job markets.

•    New orders for nondefense nonaircraft capital goods rose for a second month, sustaining the upward trend typically consistent with improving economic conditions and stands out against the generally softer tone of the UO Index in recent months. Likewise, the Oregon weight distance tax, a measure of trucking activity, edged up during the month.

•    The interest rate spread between 10-Year Treasury Bonds and the Federal Funds dropped dramatically
for a second month as market participants continued to scramble for the safety of government debt amid concerns of a slowdown in the second half of this year.

•    Two consecutive falls in the UO Index is not sufficient to declare that the Oregon economy will experience a double-dip recession.
Still, the decline is consistent with slowing growth as the impact of inventory correction and fiscal stimulus lessen.

Save the Date!

7th Annual Oregon Economic Forum
October 21, 2010

Oregon in the Aftermath – Back on track?

The impact of the financial crisis has waned, with glimmers of light at the end of the long, dark tunnel of recession.  But optimism is mixed with a healthy dose of pessimism.  How fragile is the recovery?  How long will it take to recover the jobs lost to the recession?  Will Oregon come roaring back from the recession, or will we be left behind?  Is Portland’s economy really on par with comparable cities?  University of Oregon economists will answer these questions and more at this year’s Oregon Economic Forum.  And be sure to bring your own questions!  This year we are adding extended time for audience participation, giving you a chance to ask the question most relevant to your business.  Also included is a special keynote address by John Fernald, Vice President of Macroeconomic Research at the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank.  We look forward to seeing you at this special event.

Scheduled Speakers

Tim Duy, Director, Oregon Economic Forum, University of Oregon
George W. Evans, John B. Hamacher Professor of Economics, University of Oregon
Mark A. Thoma, Associate Professor of Economics and author of the popular weblog Economist’s View, University of Oregon
Jeremy Piger, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Oregon
John Fernald, Vice President of Macroeconomic Research, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Special thanks to our presenting sponsor,  KeyBank.
Thank you to all of our sponsors:  Portland Business Journal, Port of Portland, Collier’s International, and the Portland Business Alliance

Governor Hotel
614 Southwest 11th Avenue
Portland, OR 97205
(503) 224-3400

7:15am to 11:00am
Breakfast included

Timothy Duy
Director, Oregon Economic Forum
Director, Undergraduate Advising
Department of Economics
University of Oregon – 1285
Eugene, OR 97403-1285

  
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