Earlier this month, Assumption College Economics Professor Dr. Thomas White released the latest Worcester Economic Indicators Report showing continued growth for Worcester area economy. The fourth of its kind, the report’s first issue was released at the beginning of 2014 showing fourth quarter performance of 2013.
This effort is part of the Assumption College Economic Indicators Project that offers quarterly updates on the greater Worcester economy. Each update includes three components: Worcester Economic Index (WEI); a 6-month forecast of the WEI based on leading national indicators; and a 6-month diffusion index of local leading indicators. The economic updates resulting from this project have been featured in a number of local news outlets, including the Worcester Business Journal.
According to Dr. White’s latest report, WEI increased at an annual rate of 3.7 percent in the third quarter of 2014, down from the revised 5.3 percent growth in the second quarter.
“After an unusually strong second quarter in terms of hiring, the WEI shows the local economy grew at a more moderate rate in the third quarter,” said Professor White. “This is similar to the national economy, which, according to last week’s release by the federal government, shows that economic growth tailed off in the third quarter.”
The report also forecasts that “over the coming six months WEI is expected to continue to grow but at a slower rate than the previous two quarters.” Some of the economic indicators considered as part of the 6-month forecast are local unemployment, amount of online help-wanted advertising, number of new business incorporations, and the value of new residential building permits.
Assumption students pursuing degrees in business and economics have a unique opportunity to see firsthand how these economic estimates are calculated right on campus and understand the methodology that’s behind the results.
Dr. White earned his Ph.D. in Economics from State University of New York at Binghamton. His Ph.D. thesis title was “A comparison of Methods for Valuing Environmental Goods.” He now teaches Economics and Global Studies at Assumption College.