Mountain states end 2011 on strong growth pace

Economic growth in the Mountain States region has exceeded that of the national economy yet again.

For the past two years, economic indicators have been higher than the national average, according to the Goss Institute for Economic Research.

And in Colorado, the state’s economic indicators also advanced thanks to new orders, delivery lead time and employment.

“Durable and non-durable goods producers in the state continue to report solid growth in sales and production,” said Dr. Ernie Goss, director of the Goss Institute for Economic Research. “However, much of the growth has been achieved with increasing productivity and an expanding average hourly work week. Advancing production in manufacturing has pushed overall state job growth into a healthy range.”

The report predicts a job growth of 1.5 percent in 2012 for Colorado, and gross domestic product increasing by 3.3 percent.

The rest of the mountain region – which includes Wyoming and Utah – is also seeing healthy growth, according to the institute’s business conditions index. The index is created by using a mathematical average of indices for new orders, production or sales, employment, inventories and delivery lead time. On that scale, 50 is neutral, and the region as a whole grew to 60.2 percent.

“Surveys of supply managers in the region and the U.S. indicate that the difference in terms of job and gross domestic product growth will expand in the first half of 2012,” he said. “Firms tied to energy and international markets continue to report healthy growth.”