Business growth in state slows, but still healthy

The business index – a measure of growth of new orders, productions, employment and inventories – dropped for the Rocky Mountain region in April.

In Colorado, growth in some areas forced the index down – but metal manufactures are doing well and construction activity is improving, said Ernie Goss, director of the Goss Institute for Economic Research, the group that performs the monthly survey of the business climate.

The state’s business growth is still healthy, he said.

“Metal manufacturers in the state are experiencing very healthy growth stemming from international markets,” he said. “Construction activity is improving – and this is having appositive influence on the firms we survey. Both durable and non-durable manufacturers in the state are adding jobs at a healthy pace. Manufacturers tied to energy, agriculture and international sales are experiencing especially strong growth.”

All that means that the state should see a continued decline in unemployment, he said.

For the entire region – which includes Colorado, Utah and Wyoming – business growth is tied to technology firms and international sales.

“The federal Reserve’s cheap money policy continues to support firms tied to international markets,” Goss said. “According to our surveys over the past several months, the regional growth advantage will continue in the months ahead. Expansions for the region’s technology sector, both manufacturing and value-added services, were important source of growth for the month.”

The three states in the region continue to see business growth above that of the rest of the nation, he said.