The State’s economy grew stronger in Summer 2013. The pace of growth in the State Index accelerated for the second quarter in a row. All five component indicators turned up from the prior year. The tourism sector led the way for the state’s economy. More travelers came, and spent more money. The labor market seems to be getting stronger as well; the pace of growth in the number of employed residents accelerated for the second consecutive quarters on a year-over-year basis, and wages and salaries increased four straight quarters. Leading indicators, however, suggested that the state’s economy was not yet on a strong footing. Only two of the four state leading indicators remained up; inverted initial unemployment claims and weekly work hours were up, while building permits of single family homes and new business formation were down. The state’s housing market continued to expand, although there were signs that the boom was nearing its peak.
We are glad to come back to you with a new-look NCEI with improved coverage of the region’s economy. This new issue has three changes; 1) a student–created report has been added to complement the data-driven report and to provide a more comprehensive view of the county’s economy; 2) a new section of leading indicators has been added for New Hampshire to provide a sense of future economic conditions; and 3) the report will now be published quarterly. Ryan Bernier, a Plymouth State senior majoring in Sociology, spent the summer in Coos County, attending events, observing the local economy in action, and interviewing community and business leaders. He’ll be sharing his experiences here and in future issues of the NCEI. We appreciate all of you making your valuable time available and sharing your experience with Ryan.
In Summer 2012, the Coos economy showed signs of encouragement. Although the Coos Index fell for the 6th consecutive quarter on a quarterly year-over-year basis, much of the decline had to do with the temporary closure of the BALSAMS. This weighed on the local economy, particularly in the Colebrook area. Aside from the BALSAMS, however, there are signs of improvement. The labor market improved; both the number of employed residents and their estimated wages and salaries were up from a year ago. Average Saturday traffic counts in Jefferson and Northumberland were up from the prior year, indicative of an increase in travelers to the region.
In Summer 2012, the State Index fell for the first time since the end of the past recession on a quarterly year-over-year basis. Particularly worrisome was the labor market; both the number of employed residents and estimated wages and salaries were down from Spring. The hospitality industry struggled as well; both estimated rooms and meals receipts and average Saturday traffic counts were down from a year ago. The manufacturing industry chugged along; industrial electricity sales inched up from a year ago. Meanwhile, the state-level leading indicators suggest a mixed view of future economic conditions.