January economic recap: U.S. and Washington State

Feb 22, 2024
Written by WR Communications

In January, the United States economy experienced a surge in employment, with 353,000 jobs added, surpassing expectations, and maintaining an unemployment rate of 3.7%. Real GDP also expanded by 3.3% in the fourth quarter of 2023, exceeding predictions, with a 2.5% growth rate for the year.

Consumer prices rose moderately by 0.3% in January, contributing to a 3.1% increase over the year. However, sectors like mining and heavy construction saw declines, while others, such as manufacturing and healthcare, experienced job increases. Consumer confidence surged due to improved inflation expectations and a strong labor market.

In Washington state, job growth was stronger than expected, particularly in manufacturing and arts/entertainment sectors, but there was an uptick in unemployment rates over the past three months. Seattle-area home prices dipped slightly in November, and overall housing construction slowed in the fourth quarter. Despite this, Washington exports saw a notable increase in the transportation sector. Revenue collections for the period of January 11 to February 10, 2024, were higher than forecasted, indicating positive trends in the state’s economic activity.

In summary, while the U.S. economy showed resilience and growth, Washington state faced fluctuations in employment and housing markets, alongside positive revenue outcomes.

Read the full Economic and Revenue Forecast Council report.



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