3rd Quarter 2014 Economic Forecast Newsletter – Moffat & Routt Counties

Yampa Valley economic indicators point to an overall healthy employment picture with strong retail sales in Routt County and sluggish retail sales in Moffat County.

  • The Yampa Valley’s unemployment rate continues to improve, a trend that is expected to hold through the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2014 based on post-recession seasonal trends. The combined county unemployment rate in June was 4.8%, with Moffat County’s rate at 5.4% and Routt’s at 4.2%.
  • Routt County’s current low unemployment is underscored by a ratio between employed workers and available labor that is inching toward levels that could even portend a shortage of workers.
  • Latest available state information on local retail sales shows that first-quarter 2014 sales were down nearly 9% in Moffat County and up almost 5% in Routt County compared to first-quarter 2013. Routt-Moffat combined retail sales for first-quarter 2014 totaled  $374 million, a 2.6% increase compared to the previous year.
  • Although Moffat County 2014 retail sales were off to a slow start, sales typically improve in the summer. Routt sales were forecast to pick up in the summer as well, rise through 2014, and ultimately outperform 2013 sales.
  • Moffat’s June median home listing price and number of homes for sale in July were stable with little change compared to the same period last year, although Moffat experienced an increase in foreclosures in June. Routt’s June home median listing price continued to drop, reaching 2011 prices. Fewer homes were listed for sale in July compared to the same time last year and foreclosures remained low in Routt in line with Colorado and national foreclosure ratios.
  • Based on the latest data available, year-to-date coal production through April was up nearly 7% in Moffat County, down almost 7% in Routt County and down 13% statewide from 2013.
  • Year-to-date oil production through May was down from the previous year in both counties. Moffat’s year-to-date gas production matched 2012 production for the same period, while Routt’s relatively small amount of gas production was up by one-third compared to 2013.
  • With the Yampa Valley experiencing one of its wettest winters in recent years, the Stagecoach and Yamcolo reservoirs sported June water levels of 20% and 16% above average, with Stagecoach filling to 100% of capacity and Yamcolo reaching 98%.

We hope you’ll enjoy this quarterly edition of our Regional Economic Forecast News. Please click the link below to view and/or print the entire publication. Don’t miss our Spotlight (pages 8-9) on Income Inequality or our quick overview on economic impacts of coal mining (back page).

YV_Data_Partners_Economic_Newsletter_Q3_2014_Final

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