The PMBI tumbled 6% compared to the final quarter of 2008, and is down 16.4% from year ago levels. Highlights of the report include:
• Labor markets remain soft. Initial unemployment claims continued to climb during the quarter, while help wanted advertising declined. The combination of continued job losses and weak hiring demand signals further declines in nonfarm payrolls.
• Housing markets remain very weak. Housing sales edged downward to a monthly average of 1,345 units sold, while days on market fell. The more rapid selling pace is likely attributable to a particularly slow final quarter of 2008, when both the credit crisis and unusual weather slowed sales activity. Builders continue to respond to the housing slowdown with reduced construction activity; residential building permits continue to fall.
• Tourism and travel indicators were mixed. The expected slowdown in lodging revenue arrived, while air passenger traffic ticked up following a series of drops. Stabilizing national consumer confidence and spending should help firm tourism and travel spending as well.
Overall, the PMBI indicates that the local economy remains in decline; tentative signs of stabilization in the national economy should increasingly support local growth through the remainder of 2009. For a analysis of recent US economic developments, please visit Here:
Director, Oregon Economic Forum
Director, Undergraduate Advising
Department of Economics
University of Oregon – 1285