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2010-01-05 10:49:09
Economic Growth in Utah Still Holding Steady

The Utah economy held steady for the second consecutive month, a newly released report shows.

Utah's Business Conditions Index, compiled by the Goss Institute for Economic Research and based on a survey of supply managers, stood at 55.0 in December — identical to the November index, the institute said Monday. The latest figure matched the highest for the index since 60.6 in October 2007.

business index graph

The index ranges from zero to 100, with a figure above 50 indicating an expanding economy over the next three to six months. The institute uses the same methodology that is used in a national survey conducted by the Institute for Supply Management.

Components of Utah's overall index for December were new orders at 64.5, production or sales at 61.1, delivery lead time at 34.7, inventories at 64.5 and employment at 50.3.

'Over the past decade, Utah lost almost 15,000 (jobs) or 11.6 percent of its manufacturing employment,' Ernie Goss, director of the institute and Creighton University's Economic Forecasting Group, said in a prepared statement. 'Most losses were due to productivity growth of more than 50 percent over the decade.'

Utah is one of three states in the report's Mountain States business conditions index. The region's overall index in December rose to 59.1 from November's 55.4.

The index indicates improving economic conditions in the months ahead for the three-state region of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, the report stated.

Among the measures of economic confidence in the region, the report said supply managers added to their inventories for the month with the December inventory index climbing to 66.1 from 52.7 in November.

'After 13 straight months of trimming inventories, supply managers have reported increases for two straight months,' Goss said. 'In the December survey, over 81 percent of supply managers indicated that their inventories levels were now about right.'

Colorado's December index fell to 62.8 from 70.3 during the previous month, while the Wyoming index was 64.4, up from 53.7 in November.

Article taken from the Deseret News

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