Two new surveys forecast weak economic growth for Colorado in the months ahead. As CPR’s Pat Mack reports, that means the unemployment rate isn’t likely to fall much.


Reporter Pat Mack: Economist Ernie Goss surveys Colorado businesses each month, and this month his index of conditions fell sharply, down nine points from June. The reading of just below 50 out of 100 means little or no growth is expected in the short term.

Ernie Goss: It was not a good number, pulled down of course by the drought and fires, and we had a pullback in exports. Global trade is not looking good, at least for the businesses we survey in Colorado.

Reporter: A University of Colorado report commissioned by the Secretary of State’s office also indicates slower growth ahead. The study found filings for new business licenses rose slightly in the last quarter. But CU’s Richard Wobbekind says renewals from existing businesses dropped almost 18 percent. That means job growth will likely slow.

Richard Wobbekind: Part of it is, we may be going through a bit of a churn. We do have a nice uptick in new entity filings, but maybe some people who have been doing this for a year or two have decided it’s no longer a viable enterprise, and they’re sort of exiting the business space.

Reporter: Both reports found business leaders' confidence in the economy had slipped but that they remain optimistic overall.

[Photo: CPR]