Economy Still Looking Strong in Augusta Area
In May, the Hull College of Business Augusta Leading Economic Index (LEI) increased 0.2 percent from April. Except for one slight dip in March, the index has been increasing each month and has now increased by 5.5 percent since May 2014.
Unfortunately, local employment has declined about 2 percent during the spring. Jobs were lost across a number of sectors including construction, manufacturing, education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and state government.
Residential building permits declined 8 percent from April and initial claims for unemployment insurance increased by 8 percent (both after seasonal adjustment). However, job openings remained strong increasing by 2 percent. Job openings are at historically high levels according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Augusta LEI is compiled by Simon Medcalfe, associate professor of finance at the Hull College of Business.