University of Oregon Regional Economic Indexes
By Tim Duy
Oregon Economic Forum
University of Oregon
Oregon Regional Economic Indicators:
Most regional economies in Oregon experienced above average growth in November. Highlights of the report include:
- Moving average measures of activity – which smooth monthly volatility – indicate that all nearly areas are growing near or above their average pace of activity, with only the Salem area somewhat below normal growth. Note, however, that the Salem area is holding the gains achieved since late-2013.
- Despite generally solid home sales, residential home building remains somewhat disappointing across most of the state, with spotty, stop-and-go activity characterizing the recovery to date. In November, only the Portland metro area saw a positive contribution from housing permits.
- In contrast, a wide array of employment indicators continue to remain generally supportive across all regions. More sectors are benefitting as the recovery broadens and deepens across the state. Unemployment claims remain at low levels and are adding significant contributions to the measures; claims at these levels generally foreshadow further job growth in future months.
- Regional economies were finishing 2014 on a strong note, and I expected further gains in 2015.
Reminder: The regional measures are prone to potentially large swings due to the volatility of some of the underlying data, particularly measures of employment. The moving average measures smooth out much of that volatility.