January 2012

February 1st, 2012 by Daniel Lee

Things looking up for New Hampshire in 2012


In December, the Coos Index fell for the eighth month in a row on a monthly year-over-year basis. The pace of decline was the largest since 2009. Four of five component indicators were down from where they stood a year ago. The labor market continued to struggle; both number of employed residents and estimated wages and salaries were down from a year ago. Particularly, struggles of the manufacturing industry were eye-catching; industrial electricity sales fell by a double-digit for the first time in two years on a monthly year-over-year basis. Even the lone bright spot, the hospitality industry showed signs of slowing; estimated rooms and meals revenues grew at slowest pace since June 2010. Average Saturday vehicle traffic counts fell ten months in a row.

In December, the State economy ended the year strong despite some concerns. The State Index grew sixteen months in a row on a monthly year-over-year basis. The economic growth accelerated for the second month in a row after falling seven straight months. Particularly encouraging is the labor market; the year-over-year growth of the number of employed residents grew at an increasingly faster pace for the fourth month in a row, while estimated wages and salaries exhibited a similar pattern. The leisure and tourism industry contributed to the strong finish as well; estimated rooms and meals revenues expanded for the 13th straight month on a monthly year-over-year basis. However, all is not good for the state economy. The manufacturing continued to drag; industrial electricity sales fell three consecutive months on a monthly year-over-year basis. In addition, the housing sector remains a threat. Despite rebounding sales, free-falling home prices have yet to show any signs of a turnaround. All in all, chances of a double-dip recession that was increasingly likely a few months ago seemed to be waning with 2011.

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

January 2011

January 31st, 2011 by Daniel Lee

Recovery Spinning Wheels in Mud

As announced in December report, the methodology page has been revised to briefly describe how the new NCEI is constructed and how well it conforms to the business cycle. In December, the County Index advanced for the seventh consecutive month on a year-over-year basis. However, the recovery still appeared to be fragile. The pace of growth remained too small to build up momentum. A major drag came from the labor market. The estimated wages and salaries continued to slide, suggesting job losses had not stopped. On the other hand, the number of employed residents appeared to have been stabilized after a slide during the recession. This diversion between the two labor market indicators may indicate that some of the unemployed may have become self-employed or domestic help, instead of looking for a job. On a positive note, the hospitality sector continued to register gains. In particular, the estimated rooms and meals revenues continued with its impressive expansion. The production activity remained strong; the industrial electricity sales series was up from prior year.

On the contrary, the impending recovery for the State’s economy looked ever more credible. The State Index advanced four months in a row on a year-over-year basis at an increasing pace. All of the Index’s component indicators turned up from where they were a year ago. The encouraging signs were apparent in the labor market. Both the number of employed residents and the estimated total wages and salaries were up from prior year. The manufacturing sector continued its expansion as well. December data brought good news to the hospitality sector as well. In addition to the average Saturday traffic counts, the estimated rooms and meals revenues turned up from prior year for the first time since the beginning of the recession.

Starting this month, we upgraded the analysis on the real estate market by adding median home prices to the list that already includes home sales. The report can be found below.

January 2010

January 28th, 2010 by Daniel Lee

The Coös County economy continues to fall with no clear end in sight, while the State economy shows signs of stabilization.