University of Oregon Regional Economic Indexes
By Tim Duy
Oregon Economic Forum
University of Oregon
Economic indicators show that Oregon continues to hold its momentum of recent months. Highlights of the report include:
• The Oregon Measure of Economic Activity rose to 0.20 in July from an upwardly revised -0.05 the previous month. The three-month moving average, which smooths month-to-month volatility in the measure, stands at 0.18 where “zero” for this measure indicates the average growth rate over the 1990-present period.
• High levels of hours worked in manufacturing, although down a bit in July, still make a significant positive contribution to the measure. Housing activity is stronger, and now is only a mild negative weight on the measure, but construction employment growth remains slow. As the sector continues to improve, additional hiring should follow.
• The University of Oregon Index of Economic Indicators™ rose 0.1 percent in July; the UO index has not decreased since September 2012. Initial unemployment claims edged up but signal continued job growth.
• Employment services payrolls, largely temporary employees, rose and are now 8.8% higher than year-ago levels, suggesting improving economic conditions are prompting firms to explore adding additional workers.
• Residential building permits (smoothed) edged down but and have been hovering in the 1,200-1,300 range for four months. Core manufacturing (nondefense, nonaircraft capital goods) orders slipped while the Oregon weight-distance tax, a measure of trucking activity rose.
Dan Mogck, Senior Vice President of Business Banking, KeyBank, adds “Were seeing the stronger economy reflected in clients’ financial statements and increased borrowing. They are looking to take advantage of that improvement by expanding their businesses.”