Colorado is on track for economic growth in 2013

Employment gains are expected to be broad-based, with all industry sectors except information forecasted to add workers in 2013, according to data compiled by the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC) in its Monthly Economic Summary for December 2012.

Colorado’s economy is expected to perform among the top 10 states next year, said Rich Wobbekind, executive director of the CU Leeds School of Business Research Center. Unemployment will decrease to 8 percent in 2012 and 7.4 percent in 2013, according to the Colorado Business Economic Outlook published by the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business. Employment in Colorado will continue to expand in 2013, as the job growth rate reaches 1.8 percent or 42,100 jobs.

Colorado continues to outperform the nation in several important economic areas. Gross domestic product growth in the state averaged 1.9 percent in 2011 compared to 1.8 percent nationally; personal income growth in 2011 of 6.1 percent exceeded the national average of 5.2 percent; and employment growth in 2012 is tracking higher in Colorado at 1.7 percent compared to 1.4 percent in the United States. While political uncertainty nationally and globally continues to delay decisions and investments by businesses, economists expect Colorado’s economy to continue to expand in 2013, barring adverse impacts from spending cuts and higher taxes that may result if the nation topples over the fiscal cliff.

Metro Denver’s economy also continues to expand, with employment increasing an average of 2.4 percent so far in 2012. Continued job growth, declining unemployment, and positive indicators in retail sales and residential real estate point toward an improving economy. Indeed, 17 of the 18 indicators tracked in the report are improving on an annual basis, which is the first time since at least 2006 that this has occurred. Monthly activity was not as positive, however, with only six of the 18 indicators increasing on a monthly basis compared to seven last month.

“The positive trend in employment is no surprise to us,” noted Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver EDC. “Looking at our prospect activity, 27 companies announced relocations and expansions through November, supporting the creation of 4,100 new jobs and $600 million in expected capital investments in the region.”

The Monthly Economic Summary provides a snapshot of metro area economic activity, as well as its relationship to national and regional economic trends.

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