October 2011

November 1st, 2011 by Daniel Lee

Hopeful Signs for State’s Labor Market

In September, the aggregate economic activity continued to decline in the County. The Coos Index fell for the fourth month in a row on a monthly year-over-year basis. Four out of five component indicators were down from prior year. Estimated rooms and meals revenues series was the only indicator that was up from where it stood a year earlier. However, it too showed signs of slowing down. Estimated rooms and meals revenues posted month-to-month declines for the second consecutive month. It may have to do with BALSAMS’s early seasonal closure in September due to the proposed sales agreement. There were no signs of improvement in the labor market; number of employed residents and estimated wages and salaries continued to decline on a monthly year-over-year basis. The manufacturing sector wasn’t an exception; industrial electricity sales kept on falling on a monthly year-over-year basis. This month report includes average Saturday vehicle traffic counts thanks to the timely publication of the data. We sincerely appreciate the cooperation from the new Commissioner and staff members of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

According to the revised data with the inclusion of the traffic counts, the State economy showed signs of stabilization in September. Its monthly year-over-year growth rate remained at 0.8%, the pace of growth in prior month, after falling five months in a row. All but one indicator increased on a monthly year-over-year basis. Most notably, the labor market exhibited some encouraging signs; the monthly year-over-year growth rate of the number of employed residents picked up pace for the first time in five months. However, the overall economic picture was far from spectacular. The manufacturing activity continued to slow; industrial electricity sales growth nearly came to a halt. The picture in the hospitality sector is mixed; estimated rooms and meals registered a modest gain while traffic counts fell. All in all, the state economy remained on a growth path; but it was a fragile one.

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

October 2010

October 31st, 2010 by Daniel Lee

Coos and New Hampshire part ways to recovery.

In September, the Coos economy was still in the mud. The housing market showed no signs of recovery from the expiration of the home buyer tax credits. The number of homes sold remained nearly half the level seen a year ago. The production activity took a sudden plunge; the industrial electricity sales plummeted. Hoteliers in the region told that many in the industry would go out of business unless the economy turned around soon. The data coincided with the sentiment. Both the estimated rooms and meals revenues and the average Saturday vehicle traffic counts were down from a year ago. On a positive note, though, the labor market advanced. The number of employed residents was up from the level seen a year ago for the first time since February 2008.

On the other hand, the revised data revealed that the State economy may have resumed its course to recovery. Both the labor market and the housing sector brought encouraging signs. The rate of increase in the number of employed residents on a month-to-month basis, which had steadily slowed to fall into the negative territory in July, has since bounced back and reaccelerated. The number of homes sold, although still lower than where it stood a year ago, continued to recover from the hick ups after the expiration of the federal home buyer tax credits. The manufacturing sector remained as strength of the economy, as indicated in the industrial electricity sales. The hospitality industry also did better than a year ago. The estimated rooms and meals revenues kept up on a year-over-year basis.