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Oregon index sees 3rd straight month of decline

August 11, 2011

By Tim Duy,
Oregon Economic Forum

The University of Oregon Index of Economic Indicators™ fell 0.5 percent to 90.5 (1997=100) in June 2011, compared to a revised 90.9 the previous month. This is the third consecutive monthly decline.  Highlights of the report include:

• Labor markets remained weak. Initial unemployment claims rose in June to their highest levels since last November. Employment services payrolls – largely temporary employment – also edged down; the weak hiring for temporary workers suggests firms lack sufficient sales to push employment growth higher.

• Adjusted for inflation, nondefense, nonaircraft capital goods orders edged down during June and remain essentially flat since last December. Similarly, Oregon weight distance revenue – a measure of trucking activity – has been trending sideways since a period of initial gains at the end of the recession.

• Consumer confidence (smoothed with a five month moving average) fell in June; consumer spending actually declined in the second quarter of this year, a substantial weight on US economic activity.

• The interest rate spread again narrowed sharply as increasing economic uncertainty drove market participants into US Treasuries, pushing down longer term interest rates.

• The national and state economies slowed dramatically in the first half of this year. While on net indicators do not indicate recession is imminent, the recovery is clearly fragile. This is especially discouraging given that the recovery has so far fallen short of that necessary to reverse the negative effects of the recession.

For my take on yesterday’s Federal Reserve statement, you can listen to my interview on NPR. My comments are midway through the program:

http://www.npr.org/2011/08/09/139249051/what-makes-gold-so-precious-for-investors

SAVE THE DATE!

The 8th Annual Oregon Economic Forum, Presented by KeyBank
The Governor Hotel
Portland, OR

October 20, 2011
0730am – 1130am

To register, please visit: econforum.uoregon.edu

The Oregon Economic Forum is in its eight year of bringing you timely, in-depth analysis of the national and local economies. As the upward momentum of late 2010 fades, new questions emerge. How sustainable is the recovery? Should the European debt crisis serve as a warning for policymakers? Should we heed this warning and start aggressively paring deficits now, or is it simply premature to turn to policy austerity? How does Oregon’s recovery compare to the nation and the region? What’s in store next for Oregon and the United States? Please join us as we explore the trends that will shape Oregon’s economy in 2012.

This year we are bringing two outside speakers. We are excited to have Brad DeLong, professor of economics at the University of California at Berkeley, to discuss the likelihood of a European-type debt crisis in the United States. We are equally excited to bring Glenn Rudebusch, Senior Vice President and Associate Director of the Economic Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Glenn will bring his insightful analysis of the direction of the US economy. We will also continue our tradition of bringing economists from the University of Oregon, including Forum Director Tim Duy. In addition to an Oregon economy 2012 preview, Tim will present new research on state and regional economic indicators?

Special thanks to our presenting sponsor, KeyBank. Additional sponsors who help make this event possible include The Portland Business Journal, the Portland Business Alliance, the Port of Portland, Ashforth Pacific and Collier’s International. We also received support from the US Delegation of the European Commission

Timothy A. Duy
Director, Oregon Economic Forum
Director, Undergradute Studies
Department of Economics
University of Oregon – 1285
Eugene, OR 97403-1285

  
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