MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia’s economy is expected to continue to grow at a stable rate through much of 2014. That’s according to the first Mountain State Business Index (MSBI) from West Virginia University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

“We can expect steady, stable growth over the coming months and, if what we see in May continues, we may see even an acceleration later in the summer, early in the fall,” said Dr. John Deskins, director of WVU’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

The MSBI — a predictor of future economic activity — increased 0.5 percent in May compared with April. WVU researchers said that was the largest month-to-month gain recorded since late 2006.

Compared with the same time last year, the Index is up a total of 1.4 percent.

The Mountain State Business Index was issued for the first time on Wednesday and will continue to be released every month.

“This is a simple, easy to follow statistic that provides a good backdrop, a good overview of where our state’s economy is headed over the next four to six months,” Deskins said on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

The Index weighs seven factors: building permits, unemployment insurance claims, the value of the U.S. dollar, stock prices related to West Virginia employers, interest rates, coal production and natural gas production.

“For this month, the biggest driver of the growth is unemployment insurance claims. They’re way down in the state. Overall, over the past year, unemployment insurance claims are down by about 20 percent and that’s a good thing. That bodes well for the state,” Deskins said.

The Bureau of Business and Economic Research is part of WVU’s College of Business and Economics.

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  • Cites

    The growth is most likely only happening between the Eastern Panhandle and the Morgantown-Clarksburg/Bridgeport corridor.

  • JTC

    It is all Obama's fault look at the chart and the downward spiral! Oh my fault my IPad is upside down!

    • Roger

      Tactic 1: Blame Bush for everything.....
      (once that gets ran into the ground switch to tactic 2)

      Tactic 2: Make fun of oposition by using the phrase "Blame Obama".

      Its no secret that WV is not on Obama's favorite state list. With the attack on coal (miners, power plant workers, ect.) So any growth should be given credit where credit is due, and it sure as hell isn't outside of the state.

  • Gizmo

    It's funny that this article is on the same web page as an article about a wide-spread economic hit coming due to the new EPA regulations.
    Which will it be?

  • John

    If you believe all this horse manure, you're very gullible. Tax revenues in West Virginia are on a downward spiral, thats why Gov. Tomblin had to take $100 million dollars out of the rainy day fund just to balance the budget, and the prediction for next year is just as bad. These reports sound good, but reality is what it is...Time will tell, and I hope the report is correct, but personally I have my doubts.

  • Sarah

    Great news for WV! It will only get better when the minimum wage increase begins in January 2015. It is a great time to be in WV!

  • Gary Karstens

    Noticing the graph, the business uptick in WV seemed to be occuring when Obama took office in 2008 and increasing ever since.

    • Roger

      Please tell me again what happened between 2008 till 2010.....

      • Randy

        Actually Obama did not take office unit January 2009. Bush was in office during that downward spike of 2007-2008.

  • Brian

    I'll say the same thing I said when Morgantown, WV had the lowest unemployment of any city in America - when you don't have anything, you don't have anything to lose. Be that as it may, rest assured outside interests have been and will continue to keep an eye on opportunities in WV.