Financial services boosts Oregon economy

Posted on March 18, 2013

Oregon’s economy is growing at a rate near the average rate achieved since 1990, continuing a slow but steady expansion that took hold late last year.

According to the January Index of Economic Indicators from the University of Oregon, economic activity rose to 0.49 from a revised -0.23 in December. Zero equals the average growth rate recorded between 1990 and the present.

Financial services delivered the most juice among the economic variables included in the analysis, with employment in the sector hitting 0.40. According to the report, gains of that magnitude are often adjusted downward in subsequent reports, meaning the overall economic gain recorded for January could be less positive than is appears.

The three-month moving average, which helps smooth out the volatility that can occur monthly, was -0.14.

The manufacturing and services sectors also posted positive January employment gains, posting rates of 0.16 and 0.15, respectively.

Among the data included in the January report:

  • Initial unemployment claims in January were 7,368, up from 7,320 in December.
  • Employment services payrolls rose to 33,338 from 32,825.
  • Residential building permits rose to 1,053 from 1,019.
  • U.S. consumer confidence rose to 79 from 78.2.
  • New manufacturing orders for non-defense, non-aircraft capital goods rose to 41,487 from 38,720.

Suzanne Stevens, Portland Business Journal.