Oregon‘s economy showed continued growth in February, led by employment services payrolls, strong U.S. consumer sentiment and an increase in the interest rate spread.
The University of Oregon Index of Economic Indicators rose 0.7 percent to 91.3 in February from January. The index has a benchmark of 100 set in 1997.
While unemployment claims edged up, they remain well below 2010 levels and overall labor market trends are strong. Employment services payrolls, largely temporary employment, were up 3.2 percent and non-farm payrolls were also up, adding about 9,800 new jobs last month. Since October, the Oregon economy has added about 5,900 jobs each month.
Other Oregon data reflected in the UO Index include:
Initial unemployment claims rose slightly to 8,551 in February, up from 8,487 in January.
Residential permits inched up to 629 from 627.
U.S. consumer confidence rose to 73.1 from 71.2.
New manufacturing orders for non-defense, non-aircraft capital goods dipped to 39,402 from 39,728.
The interest rate spread between for 10-year treasury bonds and the federal funds rate widened to 3.42 from 3.22, a signal of investor confidence in the U.S. economy.
The index has continued to climb since October 2010, when it was 88.9.
Read more: Oregon economy climbs higher | Portland Business Journal
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