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Economy

Digital, evidently, hasn’t destroyed the newspaper coupon. Heads of household still search paper media for deals more than they do Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., per a study by Womensforum.com, which surveyed 2,200 moms.

Good old-fashioned print ads (78 percent) and supermarket circulars (65 percent) take the lead when it comes to how mothers find coupons, while 55 percent of those questioned said they often get coupons online, too.

What’s more, 89 percent of moms are regularly influenced by coupons when it comes to shopping for food and drink, per Womensforum.com. Nearly half (49 percent) consider coupons frequently, according to the Web company’s report. (Womensforum.com — while offering a dozen major content categories such as parenting and cooking — distributes coupons for packaged-goods brands in one section of its site.) read more »

 

OLYMPIA — The Association of Washington Business (AWB) joined with Edelman as it releases the results in Washington state of the 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer, a key measure of global perspectives on trust in business and government. Significantly, this year’s barometer identified the largest gap ever recorded between trust in business and government, underscoring the importance of transparency and cooperation by both sectors, particularly as recovery continues from the economic unrest of the last few years.

Among findings of the global annual study are that trust in both business and government in the United States declined — to 58 percent and 37 percent, respectively — reaching the widest gap (21 points) recorded since the study began in 2001. The study also found that small — and medium-sized businesses are more trusted than big business. read more »

 

Business Examiner

“Moderate gains (are) likely” in 2014 for Washington, said regional economist Bill Conerly in his February outlook on the Pacific Northwest’s future. “Very nice economic improvement should be coming” to Oregon, as well.

Reviewing population growth trends over the past decade, he also sees more growth ahead for the Evergreen State. And “more (manufacturing) companies are nearing the need to add capacity,” which is a positive indicator for the overall economy.

Despite a recent slump in new vehicle sales, Conerly thinks car sales will resume a growth trend and he finds solid gains in remodeling and renovation expenditures. read more »

 
Real Estate And Construction

The median price of single-family homes in Kitsap County climbed to $240,725 last year from $233,000 in 2012 (a 3 percent increase) — the first time prices went up since 2007. While the median is still far from the 2007 peak of $290,342, the numbers are encouraging, according to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which released the statistics in January. Of the 3,340 units sold last year, 401 were newly built homes and 17 new construction condos.

The MLS, which represents 20,000 real estate brokers in 11 counties, said the number of closed sales of homes and condominiums grew 17 percent last year areawide, with the median price up to $270,000 from $245,000 in 2012.

In total, Kitsap County saw $1 billion worth of closed sales for homes and condos, and sold the fifth-lowest number of condos among counties, 202 (after King, Snohomish, Pierce and Whatcom). read more »

 
Commentary

With the ongoing debate about income inequality and increasing the minimum wage, it’s important to revisit the basics. In order to demand a wage increase, you must first have a job. In order to have a job, someone must create that job. In order to create that job, someone must start a business.

But now, when our economy desperately needs more — and better — jobs, a major study shows that starting a business in the U.S. is more difficult than ever.

The study by the World Bank and the International Finance Corp. ranked 189 nations on how easy it is to start a new business. They considered the number of procedures required, the time necessary to complete the paperwork and the expense involved.

The U.S. ranked 20th, down from 11th last year. Our showing was well behind countries such as Rwanda, Belarus and Azerbaijan. The good news? We narrowly beat out Uzbekistan. read more »

 

OLYMPIA — An increase in business and consumer spending boosted the state’s taxable retail sales by 7.6 percent for the third quarter of 2013. Taxable retail sales between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2013 reached $31 billion — a $2.2 billion increase over the same period in 2012, according to the Washington State Department of Revenue’s quarterly analysis.

“The increase in taxable retail sales was driven by auto sales and new construction,” department director Carol K. Nelson said. “This increase in spending shows that consumer confidence in Washington continues to improve and is at its highest level since the Great Recession.”

Third-quarter retail trade purchases increased by 5.4 percent over the same time the year before. read more »

 

Boeing Co. reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenues both grew over a year earlier, and fiscal 2013 earnings hit a record level.

Boeing reported adjusted fourth-quarter earnings of $1.88 per share, and revenues of $23.8 billion. That compares with adjusted earnings of $1.46 per share, and revenues of $22.3 billion a year earlier.

For fiscal 2013, Boeing reported adjusted earnings of a record $7.07 per share and revenues of $86.6 billion, which compares with adjusted earnings of $5.88 per share, and revenues of $81.7 billion in fiscal 2012. read more »

 

The Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported 75,517 closed sales of residential real estate during 2013, surpassing the 2012 volume by around 11,000 transactions for an increase of nearly 17 percent.

Measured by dollars, last year’s sales of single-family homes and condominiums were valued at nearly $25.5 billion, which outpaced the previous year by more than $5.5 billion. That’s an increase of more than 27 percent.

Total units and dollar volume are both at the highest levels since 2007, when the service’s real estate broker members registered 82,197 sales valued at $32.3 billion. read more »

 

OLYMPIA — A significant drop in the seasonally adjusted rate of unemployment in December, combined with an increase in estimated total jobs, provide reasons for optimism about the state’s labor market.

The Employment Security Department’s estimated unemployment rate for December was 6.6 percent, down from 6.8 percent in November. The last time the state’s unemployment rate was this low was in November 2008, when it was 6.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the state gained an estimated 4,800 jobs in December, amounting to an increase of 0.2 percent. Economists also revised the November preliminary job numbers upward by more than 4,000, from a loss of 6,000 to a loss of 1,600. read more »

 
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