Payroll gains don’t budge jobless rate

Job growth improved slightly in the United States in September, but not enough to budge the unemployment rate. According to the latest Labor Department estimates, nonfarm payrolls rose 103,000, but the national jobless rate remained unchanged at 9.1 percent for a third consecutive month. In addition to the September payroll gains, initial estimates for job […]

Index: Small business optimism picks up

A monthly index tracking optimism among small business owners has increased for the first time in seven months, but the latest results don’t reflect any significant change in outlook. The National Federation of Independent Business reported that it’s Small Business Optimism Index gained eight-tenths of a point to rise to 88.9. The gain snapped a […]

SBA-backed lending volume hits new heights

Spurred in part by a first-quarter surge in activity, financing under loan programs backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration rose to a record level for the 2011 fiscal year. The federal agency reported backing 61,689 loans worth a combined $30.5 billion through its two largest programs during FY 2011, which ended Sept. 30. The […]

Real estate trends mixed: sales up, dollar volume down

Phil Castle, The Business Times:  Individual real estate trends for Mesa County constitute something of a mixed bag. Sales remain ahead of last year, but the dollar volume of those sales lags behind. Meanwhile, property foreclosure activity slows. Considered together, Annette Miller sees a market that’s holding its own compared to several down years, but still […]

Consumer Confidence Index edges upward

A monthly measure of consumer confidence has edged up on slightly more upbeat expectations for the next six months. Concerns over current business and labor conditions continue to mount, however. The Conference Board reported that its Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) inched up two-tenths to 45.4 in September. “The pessimism that shrouded consumers last month has […]

Energy trade association: Regional leasing activity declining

Oil and natural gas leasing activity dropped significantly in Rocky Mountain states during the 2011 fiscal year, according to an analysis by an energy trade association of federal leasing statistics. The Western Energy Alliance reported that since 2008, lease parcels offered have dropped 70 percent, acreage 81 percent and revenue 44 percent. The Denver-based trade […]

Sales tax collections remain ahead of last year

Phil Castle, The Business Times:  Sales and use tax collections in Mesa County remain ahead of last year, a key indicator of increased retail activity. Lodging tax collections continue to lag behind last year, though, while other measures of tourism remain mixed. The City of Grand Junction reported collecting a total of more than $3.9 million […]

Leading index rises, but also raises concerns

A monthly measure of future economic activity in the United States continues to increase, but slowing growth in the index raises concerns about recovery. The Conference Board reported its Leading Economic Index (LEI) rose three-tenths of a percent to 116.2. While the index has advanced four consecutive months, growth over the past six months was […]

Colorado ag exports on the rise

Agricultural exports from Colorado remain well ahead of last year with increases in the sale of beef, dairy products and grain. The value of agricultural exports through the first seven months of 2011 totalled $718 million, up 20 percent over the same span last year, according to figures reported by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. […]

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