Oregon's economy slipped in October




Oregon's economy wobbled in October, but should get back on track soon and continue recovering in 2014, said University of Oregon economist Tim Duy, who compiles a monthly Index of Economic Indicators.

"The economy has continued to grow at an average pace through the fall, and … I'm reasonably optimistic that the path of activity is going to strengthen somewhat," he said.

A combination of factors contributed to the index's first stumble since September 2012: a drop in employment services payrolls; declining residential building permits compared with recent months, which may reflect higher mortgage rates; falling core manufacturing orders and trucking activity; and a slide in consumer confidence tied to the temporary shutdown of the federal government.

The index gives Oregon's economic outlook for the next three to six months. It tracks eight economic indicators, including initial unemployment claims, residential building permits and capital goods orders.

The index was 95.6 in October, down from 96.5 in September. The index uses 1997 as a base year at 100. In general, the higher the index, the better the outlook.

Over the past six months, job growth is starting to spread beyond Portland, Duy said.

In Bend, nonfarm employment was up 3.4 percent from October 2012 to October 2013 and private employment was up 3.7 percent in that period, he said.

In Medford, total nonfarm employment was up 2.3 percent and private employment up 2.8 percent.

In Salem, nonfarm employment was up 1.5 percent and private employment was up 2.4 percent.

In the Eugene-Springfield area, nonfarm employment was up 1.5 percent and private employment was up 1.6 percent.