Peoria economy changes little in third quarter - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Peoria economy changes little in third quarter

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PEORIA, Ill. (WEEK) -- -

The long-term economic forecast for the Peoria area points to little overall change, a new report from Bradley University said. 

The Third Quarter 2017 Business and Economic Indicators report said both layoffs and jobs available are down from last year. Retail sales increased 2.4 percent, higher than the 1.4 percent Midwest rate of inflation over the same period. Homes available on the market are up 3.5 percent from last year, while home sales are down 2.3 percent. 

The prices of homes are about the same as last year, but area builders are constructing fewer new homes, likely due to the increased amount of inventory. 

The construction, manufacturing, hospitality/entertainment and professional and business services sectors saw job growth in the third quarter, while the retail and wholesale trade and health care sectors saw declines. Retail and wholesale trade saw 4.1 percent drops, while hospitality and entertainment employment grew 8.3 percent from the year before. 

Overall, the report said increasing retirements in the Baby Boomer generation will open opportunities for younger job seekers and help decrease local unemployment.

"Looking ahead for the short term, local area ”leading indicators” (that signal future levels of economic performance) point to little overall change, with two local leading indicators improved from the year before and two down from the previous year," said the report, authored by Bradley professors Bernard Goitein, PhDand Kevin O'Brien, PhD; and graduate student Richard Smilnak. 

The study looks at economic factors in Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Marshall and Stark Counties. 

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