Mountain states slowest to shake off recession

Filed under: Daily News |

A report from the Brookings Institute that tracked recession and recovery in the 100 largest metropolitan areas, gives Colorado Springs and the ‘mountain metros’ of the intermountain west mixed reviews.

While some western metropolitan areas were particularly hard-hit by the recession, notably Las Vegas, others, including Colorado Springs, suffered less.

The good news: the ‘gross metropolitan product’ (GMP) of the Colorado Springs metropolitan area grew an inflation-adjusted 2.3 percent from the 4th quarter of 2008 to the 4th quarter of 2009, tied for first among the 100 largest metros. The metro unemployment rate increased by 0.9 percent in the same period, third best among metros.

The bad news: according to other indicators, including employment, unemployment rate, housing prices, percentage of real estate owned (REO) properties, long-term employment growth, and years of lost job growth due to the recession, the Springs ranks only slightly above the median.

The Institute’s overall performance Index combines metropolitan rankings on four key indicators. Here’s how we ranked.
• Percent employment change from peak quarter to 4th quarter 2009 (-4.7 percent, 51st)
• Percentage point change in unemployment rate from December 2008 to December 2009 (+0.09 percent, 3rd)
• Percent GMP change from peak quarter to 4th quarter 2009 (-0.9 percent, 37th)
• Percent change in House Price Index from 4th quarter 2008 to 4th quarter 2009 (-5.1 percent, 42nd)

“More than two years after the Great Recession began,” the report states,”, the nation is in the midst of a slow and fragile – but jobless – economic recovery. Some economic indicators seem to suggest that robust economic growth will soon resume, while others point toward a “double-dip” recession and still others indicate little change in the economic situation.”