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.
While the County Index declined further, the State Index inched closer to the pre-recession level. Four out of the five component indicators either exceeded or nearly reached the pre-recession level, an index of 100. The BLS’s revised employment data showed encouraging signs; the pace of increases in the number of employed residents accelerated two straight quarters. The tourism sector remained strong; both the average Saturday vehicle traffic counts and spending at lodgings were up from the same period a year earlier. The state’s housing market data painted a mixed picture; the volume of home sales rebounded and rose from the winter 2014 level, while the pace of increases in median home prices continued to slow down. Three of the four state leading indicators remained up; number of building permits was down three straight months.