In February, a massive windstorm put a damp on the economy that would otherwise have shown stronger forces of recovery. The Coos Coincident Index inched down, for which a plunge in industrial electricity sales was largely responsible. During the power outage, productive activity came to a halt. Otherwise, March report would have posted a brighter picture of the County economy. Labor market continued to rebound as the number of the employed rose. Real estate market jumped although modestly. The picture in hospitality industry was mixed; rooms and meals revenues fell while the average Saturday traffic counts were up.
On the other hand, the State economy continued its course to recovery, despite the windstorm and power outage that swept the entire State. Labor market continued to rebound. Both the number of people with a job and estimated wages moved higher. Hospitality industry also exhibited signs of improvement. Rooms and meals revenues remained strong while the average Saturday traffic counts rebounded sharply. However, housing sector did not fare as well. Home sales continued to fall in recent month, which was contributed by the expiration of the first-time home buyer tax credit in November. A positive effect of the credit extension is not expected until spring.
As NCEI still is being shaped during the first trial year, new features may be found every month. Newly added in March is a special report on the housing market. It will likely be a semi-annual report and should be up on the Web by the first Monday in April. In addition, the About page is revised to include a variety of community-level data sources for anybody interested in the North Country.
In January, the Coos economy showed signs of stabilization. Improvement was seen across the sectors including manufacturing, hospitality and even the labor market. Manufacturing activities soared, as tracked by industrial electricity sales. Persistent increases in the coming months could be seen as revitalizing manufacturing industry. Hospitality industry remained strong as rooms and meals revenues continued its upward trend since hitting the lowest point in 2008. Even the labor market exhibited signs of relief as the number of people who have a job inched up for the month. On a year-over-year basis, losses in employment have slowed steadily in recent months, an indication that a turn toward adding jobs could be imminent. Real estate market did not fare as well, as home sales plunged.
The Coös County economy continues to fall with no clear end in sight, while the State economy shows signs of stabilization.