Secretary of State Scott Gessler told us last week that he supported Mitt Romney because he is very worried about the state of the economy. But a quarterly report released this morning by his office shows that at least in Colorado, there has been slow but positive improvement in several key areas, including personal income, wealth and employment. Gessler says the growth is "modest."
The third-quarter economic indicators report, published in partnership with the Secretary of State's Office and the Business Research Division of the University of Colorado's Leeds School of Business, predicts sustained employment growth through the end of the year.
Had the report been released prior to election day, it likely would have made its way into the campaigns' back-and-forth here in Colorado, where both camps spent a great deal of time trying to make their pitches on economic recovery going forward while slamming the opposition's plan.
Regardless, the report, which covers filing data from July through September, reveals some noteworthy gains for the economy in Colorado.
"I would characterize it as modestly good news," Gessler told reporters this morning in a conference call discussing what's officially called the "Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators Report."
The data, on full view below, covers new business filings and renewals for existing businesses, which are up compared to the third quarter of last year. The forecast predicts year-over-year employment growth in the fourth quarter of 2012. New entity filings have increased and existing entity renewals have also started to rebound from a drop in the previous quarter. Data comes from the Secretary of State's central business registry.
Here are a few takeaways from the report:
• In the third quarter in Colorado, total (non-farm) employment grew 1.6 percent, or by 37,3000 jobs, year-over-year.
• Annual wages and personal income have increased in Colorado, as have other measures of wealth, such as home prices.
• Colorado business leaders reaffirmed their optimism with the fourth consecutive quarter of positive expectations in Leeds' "Confidence Index" survey of business leaders, which looks at sales, profits, hiring and capital expenditures. "The overall expectation for the state economy, remained positive, while sentiments about the national economy remained below neutral," the report says.
• Personal income faced a 1.0 percent positive change from the prior period and a 3.2 annual percent change.
• Retail sales faced a 1.3 percent positive change from the prior period and a 3.9 annual percent change.
• The construction industry is rebounding with strong year-over-year increases in residential and nonresidential construction activity.
• Home prices appear to have stabilized, especially in the Denver Metro area.
All of this translates to better consumer confidence, said Brian Lewandowski, from the University of Colorado Boulder. "It's moving in a positive direction."
Continue for the full report. SoS Economic Indicators Q3 2012 Final
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