The North Country Economic Index (NCEI) is a quarterly economic report to gauge the performance of the economy in the northern rural New Hampshire, which currently includes Coös County. The NCEI is released four times a year – in March for Winter (December, January and February), in June for Spring (March, April and May), in September for Summer (June, July and August), and in December for Autumn (September, October and November).
NCEI also tracks the economic performance of the State of New Hampshire for the purposes of comparison. Posting county and state indicators side by side makes it clear how the county’s economy fares in comparison to the state’s economy. This State Index is constructed using the same methodology and component indicators used in the construction of the County Index so that the two Indexes can be directly comparable.
The economic activity decreased in Coos County between summer 2014 and summer 2013. The Economic Index fell for the first time since Winter 2013 on a year-over-year basis. The pace of growth decreased steadily for three straight quarters. Though, three of the five component indicators still remained up from their 2013 summer levels. The decline in the economic activity was attributed largely to the struggling goods-producing sector and the stagnant labor market. Number of employed residents declined two quarters in a row on a year-over-year basis, while industrial electricity sales fell after increasing two consecutive quarters. The County’s housing market activity fell; both home sales and median home prices decreased from a year earlier. On a positive note, the tourism sector continued to grow; both average Saturday vehicle traffic counts and spending at lodgings were up from the prior year. But the pace of growth in spending at lodgings declined three straight quarter.
The State’s economy remained on track to recovery in summer 2014. The State Index increased 16 consecutive quarters on a year-over-year basis. All five component indicators remained up from the prior year. But, the pace of growth fell after increasing two straight quarters. The industrial sector continued to get stronger; industrial electricity sales grew ten consecutive quarters. The labor market remained strong as well; the number of employed residents expanded on a year-over-year basis. The tourism sector continued to be a force behind the recovery; Saturday vehicle traffic counts rose five quarters in a row and spending at lodgings increased six consecutive quarters on a year-over-year basis. The state’s housing market cooled off; home sales declined from prior year for the first time since summer 2011. Lastly, we are excited to announce an addition of a leading indicator for the state’s tourism industry. It is reported at the bottom of the leading indicator section.