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 state’s economy advanced. The State Index increased for the 21st straight quarter on a year-over-year basis. The pace of growth accelerated for the third quarter in a row. Four out of the five component indicators were up compared to the same period in 2014. The tourism sector had a record-breaking season; the industry saw the largest number of travelers to the state for Fall since at least 2007, as a result, the inflation-adjusted rooms and meals tax collected from the state’s restaurants and hotels was the largest ever for Fall since 1991. The labor market, however, hinted that economic growth of the overall economy might be slowing down; the seasonally adjusted number of employed residents declined for the first time since Fall 2009. In addition, all four state leading indicators turned down compared to six months ago in their year-over-year growth rate. The state’s housing market continued to heat up; the volume of home sales registered a double-digit growth on a year-over-year basis and the pace of increases in median home prices rose three straight quarters.