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Business Barometer: 2015 off to a strong start

Business Barometer is a quarterly GSI publication that highlights significant economic indicators for the greater-Spokane region, as told by four local economists. The blog series contains eight posts, you’re reading post #1.

“All significant indicators were looking up in the first quarter of this year, engendering an optimism that has fueled an increasingly positive second quarter in employment, housing and retail sales,” says Shaun O’L. Higgins, Managing Principal of The Oxalis Group LLC, and a longtime observer of the regional economy.

“Even though the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the US was not doing very well in the first quarter,” says Avista Chief Economist Grant Forsyth, “we did pretty well here. Our region is growing at a decent pace.”

Steve Scranton, chief investment officer for Washington Trust Bank, characterized the first quarter as “pretty solid.”  “We didn’t have the winter weather problems that the east coast had, and as a whole, we really didn’t see the west coast port issues showing up in these numbers. This is primarily because our numbers in the Business Barometer do not include agriculture and that industry’s inability to get their goods shipped out in a timely way during the slowdown.”

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