Economics International

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Category: Indicators

Unexpected gain in factory orders points to improving economy

Just one week after strong GDP growth, June durable goods orders point to an improving economy. The factory sector surged with much higher-than-expected 1.6 percent growth, following May’s decline.

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More mixed messages from the housing market: Prices up, sales down

The housing market provides more mixed messages about the economic recovery. On the one hand, home prices, as measured by the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index, are up just under 7 percent over the same time last year. Increasing home prices may boost consumer confidence and help accelerate economic growth. On the other […]

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Employment situation stagnating in developed countries

The rate of unemployment across the 34 nations that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development rose in February. After three months of slowly declining unemployment, the recent uptick is viewed as a setback for the global economic recovery. The OECD reports the unemployment rate for its members—made up mostly of countries […]

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Ups and downs in Oregon employment

First, the good news: In 2013, Oregon outperformed the nation in job growth. Add to that, the good-but-don’t-too-excited news: U.S. employment is now back to where it was before the recession. And finally, the news that makes the first piece of good news look pretty weak:  Despite last year’s growth, it’ll likely be nine months to a […]

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Mixed messages in durable goods orders

Durable goods provided a mixed message on the economy. Last month’s strong performance pointed to continued growth. This month, however, suggested slow growth with the big bump aircraft and transportation new orders almost entirely offset by a drop in other capital goods orders, especially in fabricated metal products. Orders for durable goods show how busy factories […]

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Portland home prices: Recovery with seasonal slowing

  Portland home prices are up 13 percent from last year, despite seasonal slowing. Prices remain down 14.5 percent from the peak in mid-2007, Portland area home prices are up 23.5 percent from the bottom of the market in early 2012. While the Portland area has seen three months of declining home prices, this seems […]

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How well do CEOs forecast the economy?

Results from the Business Roundtable’s first quarter 2014 CEO Economic Outlook Survey show a moderate uptick in CEO expectations for hiring, sales and capital expenditures and some improvement in the Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index. The first graph in the press release shows the CEO Economic Outlook Index and changes to US GDP plotted as a […]

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Uptick in housing permits driven by multifamily construction

Housing starts came in much as expected for February but permits topped a consensus forecast. At 1.018 million units, overall permits are up 7 percent from a year ago. Much of the increase was from a 24.3 percent spike in multifamily units. At the same time, single-family permits eased 1.8 percent in both February and […]

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Industrial production stronger than expected, but could be a soft Spring

Industrial production was unexpectedly strong in February, rebounding 0.6 percent after dipping 0.2 percent in January. Market expectations were for a 0.3 percent gain. Capacity utilization improved to 78.8 percent from 78.5 percent in January. Expectations were for 78.6 percent. Looking ahead, the manufacturing component may be soft based on production worker hours in manufacturing […]

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