Campus: Sonoma State University -- February 7, 2005

SSU Releases Economic Indicators For Marin, Napa, Mendocino, Lake And Solano Counties

The Center for Regional Economic Analysis at Sonoma State University has recently constructed the Toby Tyler Economic Indicators for the North Bay counties of Marin, Napa, Mendocino, Lake and Solano.

For each county, the leading and coincident indicators, as compared to their national analog, is available for the public at the CREA website, www.sonoma.edu/org/crea.

The CREA continues its commitment to tracking changes in the entire North Bay economy by expanding its indicator analysis and now including a North Bay Composite indicator, reports CREA director Robert Eyler.

The Toby Tyler Leading Indicator is a composite of six economic indices that both theory and history show to lead economic cycles. These indices include notices of default/bankruptcies, residential building permits, help wanted ads, initial claims for unemployment insurance, an agricultural price index including lumber, milk and wine grape prices, and the U.S Leading Economic Indicator. This indicator is a mix of both national and county data, all of which lead the local economy's movements.

The Toby Tyler Coincident Indicator is a composite of three economic indicators, all based on local data. They include non-farm employment levels, county taxable sales, and county personal income levels. Economic theory suggests that employment, demand, and income move coincidentally with the economy.

"We are fortunate that these data exist to provide some measure of where we are today," Eyler says. The US Coincident Indicator is not explicitly included, and the CREA is working on how to add this national index to the local coincident indicator.

Both indicators should be seen simultaneously to truly understand how they are used to forecast local economic cycles, Eyler says. "The leading indicator tells us where we are headed, while the coincident tells us where we are. The two together should provide a "shape" to our local economic cycles in such a way to visualize the forecast."

For further information, contact Robert Eyler at crea@sonoma.edu or (707) 664-4256.


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