In 2013 the state experienced natural disasters and self-inflicted political wounds, yet Colorado employment grew at a faster than expected rate. The cber.co economic forecast points to continued expansion for 2014.
On a Positive Note…
- The state population grew at a higher rate than expected in 2013. Stronger growth is on tap for 2014.
- The story is the same for employment. In 2013, the state added approximately 68,000 workers and will add another 68,000 to 74,000 in 2014. This represents job growth in the rage of 2.9% to 3.1%.
- Unemployment will continue to decline, and will be in the range of 5.5% to 5.8% at the end of 2014.
- In 2013 consumers were delighted that gasoline prices declined. At the moment there is no reason to believe they will rise precipitously (knock on wood).
- Colorado new car registrations have risen steadily for the period 2010 to 2013. A decline is unlikely in 2014.
- Colorado’s general fund, particularly sales and income taxes, has been a benefactor of increased population, employment, and wages. Likewise the revenue for city and county governments has improved.
Some Mixed News…
- Per Capita Personal Income will increase by 3.7% in 2014. This is slightly less than the rate of growth for the U.S. Over the past two decades the gap between the U.S. PCPI and the state PCPI has closed significantly.
- In 2014, Colorado inflation will be 3.0%, well above the rate for the U.S.
- In Colorado, housing prices have increased at a faster rate than the nation. That is great news for home owners, but not so good news for people wanting to enter the housing market.
- The Construction Sector is slowly improving. Increased building activity supports growth in multiple sectors and causes greater congestion on the highways. For some, the latter is not desirable.
- Although the state returned to 2008 peak employment, it will be a long time before the state returns to the 2007 peak number of establishments.
Looking ahead, the economy will build on the foundation established in 2013. Hopefully the state’s leadership will be less dysfunctional.
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©Copyright 2011 by CBER.