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Friday, December 09, 2005

Some Economist: Housing Driving NW Economy

Here's a report on the opinion of yet another "senior economist," this one from California.

Keitaro Matsuda, senior economist for Union Bank of California, issued his December 2005 Economic Update for the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday.
• While the largest number of new jobs has come from the trade and transportation sector, construction was the fastest-growing industry, up 8.1 percent in the state over the past year.

• Washington has been ranked ninth among the 50 states in terms of home-price appreciation in the third quarter, up 15.6 percent. Last year, Washington placed 21st.

"There is no doubt that the Pacific Northwest economy will maintain considerable momentum in 2006," Matsuda wrote. "How the region will ultimately fare next year is likely to depend, to a large extent, on the strength of its housing market."
Mr. Matsuda seems quite optimistic about the economic forecast of the Pacific Northwest, although even he admits that recent improvements are largely being driven by the housing market. If the housing market turns, there goes our "spectacular" job growth.

(C.R. Roberts, Tacoma News-Tribune, 12.08.2005)

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