The state economic indicators improved a bit at the end of 2012, but the latest University of Oregon Economic Index shows that while improving the growth rate still isn’t keeping pace with historic averages over the past 20 years.
Construction remained a drag as residential building permits retraced some recent gains, reports Tim Duy, a University of Oregon economist. The household sector also weighed on the overall numbers, with weakness evident in consumer sentiment, a declining labor force, and the still high unemployment rate.
November’s revised numbers showed an 0.1 percent gain as initial unemployment claims and employment services payrolls were largely unchanged.
While residential building permits slipped, they remain near 1,000. Nondefense, nonaircraft capital orders gained again, Duy said, suggesting that manufacturing growth will remain in tact in the coming months. Interest rate spreads rose as financial market participants became more confident in the economic outlook.
Duy said near-term risks include the possibility of excessive fiscal contraction and export softness from weak overseas trading partners, particularly Europe. The housing market continues to improve, and this sector tends to be a leading indicator of overall activity.
” While fiscal policy will weigh on growth this year, it is most likely that the current economic expansion will continue at the on average subdued yet steady pace of recent quarters,” Duy said.
Far and away, the most common auto accidents either involve hitting another car or another car hitting yours.
An analysis by CarInsurance.com reveals that those kinds of mishaps account for nearly 45 percent of reported accidents involving insurance claims.
The report indicated just 2.4 percent involved hitting animals. However, the feeling here is that number would be higher in Southern Oregon.
The National Retail Federation has written a lengthy report on need versus want spending. The results are intriguing.