The Pierce County Business Examiner reports:
“Rising gasoline prices have added to concerns about the strength of the recovery with high gas prices negatively impacting consumer’s ability to purchase other goods and services. As of April 2, average U.S. gas prices were just a fraction of a cent below $4 per gallon.
As has been noted in the national economy, recent employment growth in Washington appears to be weakening. February’s job growth was the slowest in the last five months. Housing activity is holding up a bit better than expected. Regional inflation increased late last year due to energy costs but has since come down. Core inflation remains moderate.
The biggest threat to the U.S. and Washington economies, the council says, is high energy costs. However, the sovereign debt crisis in Europe remains a significant risk as well.
Washington is suffering from fiscal drag from state and local government budget cuts. Also, the construction sector, which is extremely important for state revenue, has stopped declining but is not yet adding to growth.”
All four indices of the Thurston EDC’s Vitality Index were up in the first quarter of 2012 for the first time in a year and a half.
Read more from the Thurston EDC Special report.