Crowley: El Paso County recession over

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New economic data suggests that El Paso County is pulling out of the recession.

Jobs, housing numbers, car sales and the return of Fort Carson soldiers are some of the economic indicators that point to an emerging economy, said University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Senior Economist Fred Crowley.

Real wages are expected to increase for several more months, and building permit numbers are steady, he said.

Car sales numbers for July are expected to rebound sharply thanks to the Cash for Clunkers program, and sales tax revenue should see a spike because of the new troops at Fort Carson, Crowley said.

Crowley had predicted that the local economy would bottom out during the fourth quarter of last year and would begin to emerge during the first quarter of this year.

The strength of the local economic indicators confirmed his prediction.

The Business Conditions Index now stands at 79.09, up from its March value of 70.4, a 12.35 percent improvement since March.

The Business Conditions Index is a measure of 10 seasonally adjusted local economic indicators, including building permits, enplanements, employment, sales tax, car sales, foreclosures and wages.

“The bottoming of the BCI and significant improvement in several local indicators since March suggests the Colorado Springs economy is probably out of its recession,” Crowley said in his Quarterly Updates and Estimates newsletter.