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2010-12-15 12:21:43
9 Signs of an Improving Economy for Utah

In addition to an improving job market there are a number of other developments that portend better economic conditions for Utah in 2011:

  • The unsold inventory of new homes is at very low levels, a good sign for homebuilders.
  • The number of mortgage loans in foreclosure appears to have peaked at 14,900 in the first quarter of 2010. Over the past two quarters the number of foreclosures statewide has fallen to 13,800.
  • The state continues to have net in-migration. In 2011 the state is expected to have net in-migration of 10,000.
  • Pent-up demand for housing is increasing and will help support a housing recovery.
  • Retail sales are improving. In 2011 sales are expected to be up 3.8 percent, an increase of nearly $1 billion in sales.
  • Auto and truck sales will help boost retail sales in 2011. The number of new vehicle sales is expected to grow from 70,000 in 2010 to 80,000 units in 2011, an increase of 13 percent.
  • Tax revenues for state and local governments are improving in FY2011. State tax revenues were up 9.6 percent through the first four months of the fiscal year.
  • Utah exports will grow to $13.5 billion in 2011 up 7.3 percent. Exports were up double-digits in 2010.

All of these factors will help support economic recovery but the local recovery will not gain much traction until the rate of growth of the U.S. economy improves from the current 2-2.5 percent growth to at least 3 percent growth.

In the meantime, Utah will outperform most states creating 20,000 new jobs in 2011 and 27,000 in 2012. The state will get back to the long-term average employment growth rate of 3 percent, which would produce 37,000 new jobs, in 2013.

Information taken from the November issue of 'UTAH’S ECONOMY' - a monthly report Produced for COMMERCE REAL ESTATE SOLUTIONS by Jim Wood, Bureau of Economic and Business Research University of Utah. Download the full report (PDF).

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