August 2011

September 1st, 2011 by Daniel Lee

Cause for Concern

The previous June report incorrectly stated the number of employed residents in Coos County, which was caused by a data entry error. The loss in the number of employed residents in the County was about 100 in June, instead of 1000. Consequently, the report overstated the decline in the County Index. Nonetheless, the corrected data showed that the storyline remained the same; the recovery continued to fade away. In July, instead of June as previously reported, the Coos economy declined for the first time since the end of the recession on a monthly year-over-year basis. The labor market continued to struggle; the number of employed residents had fallen faster on a monthly year-over-year basis. So did estimated wages and salaries. The decline in the manufacturing activity became increasingly regular; industrial electricity sales contracted two straight months on a monthly year-over-year basis. The hospitality sector appeared to be the only bright spot in the County economy; estimated rooms and meals revenue was the only indicator that was up from prior year. July data for average Saturday traffic counts has yet to be released by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation. So the Indexes were constructed assuming no change in the variable.

In New Hampshire, the economic recovery continued to slow down. The State Index fell from prior month and, on a monthly year-over-year basis, the pace of its growth declined for the fourth month in a row. The manufacturing sector appeared to be slowing; the monthly year-over-year growth in industrial electricity sales kept falling. The State’s labor market seemed to be heading south as well, the number of employed residents in the State contracted three months in a row on a month-to-month basis. Although it remained up from prior year, its year-over-year growth rate slid for the third consecutive month. Historically in New Hampshire, persistent and pronounced declines in the number of employed residents (12 month percent changes) tend to precede job losses and recession. Should this downward trend in the number of employed residents continue and fall into a negative territory on a year-over-year basis, the State may become vulnerable to a double dip recession.

The real estate market analysis can be found at the end of this report.

August 2010

September 1st, 2010 by Daniel Lee

Warm weather boosts economy.

In July, warm weather salvaged the economy that would otherwise have been marred by the stumbling housing sector. Home sales plunged more than 40% after the end of the home-buyer tax credit. Otherwise, it was a good month for the Coos economy. Labor market unexpectedly rebounded. Industrial electricity sales were up, suggesting a continued improvement in the county’s production activity. However, it was warm weather that provided the largest boost to the economy in the midst of heightened concerns over the fledgling recovery. The estimated rooms and meals revenues and the average Saturday vehicle traffic both advanced, pointing to increased tourist activity. However, the boost to the hospitality sector is likely to be temporary and wane as the hot summer season comes to an end.

The State economy has seen a similar boost to the hospitality sector brought by warm weather in July. In addition, manufacturing activity remained strong, as reflected in a continued upward trend in industrial electricity sales. However, recent developments in the labor and housing market portend a tough road ahead in the State’s economy. The number of employed residents fell for the first time since December. Home sales plunged after the end of the home-buyer tax credit.