Insightful Observations

Economic forecasts,
for the greater Seattle area.

Consider us your research center, providing you answers in easy to understand language and charts.

Established in 1993, The Puget Sound Economic Forecaster is a quarterly report published by the Center for Economic and Business Research at Western Washington University which acquired the publication in 2017 from its founders, Conway Pedersen Economics, Inc.

The report and website are designed for business executives, marketing directors, investors, government managers, and researchers who need a professional and objective view on the economic prospects for the Puget Sound region (King County, Kitsap County, Pierce County, and Snohomish County).

Our goal is to provide accurate and well-reasoned forecasts for the region as well as clear and insightful observations on important developments in the economy.

In-Depth Regional Economic Outlook

The first issue of the
Puget Sound Economic Forecaster,
a quarterly report,
was published in December 1993.

Each report contains a summary forecast, in-depth discussion of the regional outlook, forecasts and analyses of retail sales and construction and real estate, a special topic (e.g., China and Population Change), a detailed forecast table, and the Puget Sound Index of Leading Economic Indicators.

To facilitate research and analysis on the regional economy, every issue of the regional economic report is archived as a downloadable PDF file in the Subscriber Area. A comprehensive Subject Index of the archived reports has been developed to aid in the retrieval of information.

Reports are posted to the web site one to two weeks before the printed copy is mailed.

Sample Report – Data, Trade and Trends [Volume 27, Number 2, June 2019]

With thoughts of the long warm days of summer on our minds, we have found ourselves interrupted pondering about the price of avocados and how the latest round of tariff threats that may impact retail sales and the general economy overall. Thoughts of spending time at the lake or river have found us considering stream flows and how the change in our climate may impact all of the people and businesses that rely on water in one way or another. Daydreams of patio and deck BBQs have caused us to reflect on changes in house prices and the sudden growth in sales outside of the King County – is it more commuters or are jobs moving? Will the Seattle to Everett corridor retain its worst traffic in the nation ranking? Evidently, economists are bad at not thinking about things. All of the above is ahead in this edition of the Forecaster plus a better understanding of workforce participation and the state forecast. We will just call it the beach edition.

Additional Features

In addition to the Quarterly Report,
we regularly publish
Additional Feature Reports

Breaking News

What We Are Following in the News

US households saved about $1.1 trillion less than previously thought over the past six years, revised government data show. Americans stashed away an average 8.3% of their disposable income annually from 2017 through 2022, down from a previously estimated 9.4%. ... See MoreSee Less
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A data revision has helped explain the divergence of GDP and GDI (income). The gap in the revision is not as significant but still abnormal and something economists are watching to better understand. (Income and spending should be much more closely linked.) ... See MoreSee Less
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Americans increased their spending by a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in August from a month earlier. That is healthy growth but a slowdown from a 0.9% gain in July. Solid job prospects, higher wages and rising gasoline prices helped fuel spending. ... See MoreSee Less
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More walkouts could be coming. The union representing housekeepers, bartenders and other workers in Las Vegas voted to authorize a strike to demand higher wages and better working conditions; workers at Kaiser Permanente could go on a three-day strike next week; and more than 26,000 flight attendants at American Airlines have voted to authorize a strike. ... See MoreSee Less
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Strong demand for workers, new leadership atop some of the country’s biggest unions, broad public support and an advocate in the White House have helped workers win big concessions from employers at the bargaining table. The U.S. lost more than seven million workdays because of labor disputes this year through August, more than any full year since 2000—and the figures don’t include the United Auto Workers strike that started earlier this month. ... See MoreSee Less
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There are some interesting narratives out today concerning the trade balance between the US and EU. Both imports and exports have grown. What is being debated is the intention behind why. What is not being presented well is the war in Ukraine shifted supply chains. ... See MoreSee Less
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Questions? We Love Questions!

We receive a wide-range of questions every day and would love to hear yours.  Questions lead to data and data should lead to better questions.

Special Topics

Special topics in each report
intended to increase the
reader’s understanding of
how the Puget Sound economy works

Past topics include regional growth, labor productivity, demographic trends, inflation, multipliers, entrepreneurs, and state and local taxes.

Web site subscribers currently have access to more than fifty special topics. Here are four examples drawn from the Special Topic Archive:

Stream Flow [Volume 27, Number 2, June 2019]

Is Traffic Real? [Volume 27, Number 1, March 2019]

Labor Force and Population [Volume 26, Number 4, December 2018]

Forest Fires [Volume 26, Number 3, September 2018]

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