Midyear report: State’s economy achieving in ’14

A midyear economic report by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds School of Business indicates the state continues to outshine expectations for growth in 2014.

The report showed, among other things, that Colorado employment was up 3 percent in May compared to May 2013.

The Colorado Business Economic Outlook published in December indicated employment would grow by 61,300 jobs (2.6 percent) in 2014, but revised data are leading to a forecast of around 68,000 for the year, the report showed.

“The committee is confident that Colorado is poised for further growth in 2014,” according to the report. “The Colorado economy continues to outperform the U.S. economy and grow at a magnitude that slightly exceeds previous expectations.”

The only sector in which growth is not predicted by the midyear outlook is information, which includes the subsectors of publishing and telecommunications.

“The growth for Colorado that we are forecasting for 2014 would make it the fourth fastest-growing state in the country,” Richard Wobbekind, executive director of the Business Research Division, said in the report. “Colorado is growing at roughly twice the pace of the national economy in terms of job growth. It continues to be a shining star in the grand scheme of things, as it was in 2013.”

According to advance statistics for the state released last month, Colorado’s GDP grew by 3.8 percent in 2013 — double the 1.9 percent national average. The state is also tracking faster growth in personal income and home prices (up 7.6 percent), according to the report.

The report breaks down the rates of growth by sector:

Agriculture: Winter wheat production has nearly doubled since the same time last year, with a forecast of 84.2 million bushels; farm moisture levels are around 50 percent adequate, compared to 20 percent in 2013; and livestock inventory was estimated at 960,000 as of May 1.

Natural resources and mining: Employment in this sector has seen a 10 percent year-over-year increase to 33,200 jobs, surpassing a forecast of 31,100.

Construction: Sector employment has grown 8 percent since last May, with 135,500 jobs. This is driven by high home sales and low inventories.

Manufacturing: This sector has exceeded growth expectations for the third straight year, increasing 2.8 percent since May to 136,100 jobs.

Trade, transportation and utilities: While transportation and warehousing saw a loss of about 1,500 jobs, the sector as a whole gained 1.2 percent year-over-year.

Financial activities: Employment numbers remained nearly flat, though real estate, rental and leasing grew 1.4 percent.

Professional and business services: The sector added 17,500 jobs, half of which were accounted for by the professional, technical and scientific subsectors.

Education and health services: It saw an additional 4,900 jobs, increasing 4.5 percent year-over-year. A 10 percent increase in national health care spending added $43.3 billion to U.S. consumer spending.

Leisure and hospitality: The sector showed 4.9 percent growth year-over-year.

Government: State government employment grew 1.7 percent, while local government employment grew 2.1 percent. Federal employment was down due to “consolidation of government programs.”

International Trade: Colorado exports declined 4.3 percent year-over-year.