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.
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.