Utah's economy maintained "excellent growth momentum" in the first quarter and appears able to sustain favorable business conditions through the rest of the year, according to First Security Bank economist Dr. Kelly K. Matthews.
Writing in First Security's quarterly economic newsletter "Insights," Matthews said the state's job-creation capacity continued strong during the first three months of the year, with favorable gains likely to persist through 1990."A 4.5 percent first-quarter new job growth rate kept Utah among the fastest growing states in the country," said Matthews, "and beginning in March, the state's economy had created 30,000 new jobs for the second year running - 60,000 new jobs in 24 months."
Matthews pointed out that "Financial World" magazine recently ranked Utah second nationally in managing the state's budget and financial matters and state government now has a $50 million emergency fund. It is also one of only seven states with a AAA bond rating.
Other "Insight" highlights include:
- Utah's population is expected to reach 1.745 million this year, 30,000 higher than the 1989 official estimate and a forecast implies net in-migration of 3,000 to 4,000 people.
- Fourth-quarter personal income growth in Utah accelerated to 8.3 percent, pushing the annual gain to 8 percent, the fastest growth since 1984. Total wages were up a preliminary 8 percent in the fourth quarter 1989.
- The construction industry is expected to contribute significantly to Utah's economy this year after declining in 1989 to the lowest level in two decades. Construction employment in March was 1,500 jobs above a year ago.
- Despite interest rates climbing above 10.6 percent, real estate sales were strong in the first quarter and the selling climate is expected to remain good this summer.