The first quarter Statistical Composite of Peoria Economy, or SCOPE report, shows broad economic improvement. Bernard Goitein's Director of Business and Economic Research at Bradley University, which compiles the report. He says an increase in jobs is the key to the improvements:
"Not only are we having more people hired, we have fewer people losing their jobs. In fact, the number of job loses fell 43.8% from the previous quarter. We're now below the year earlier level, In fact our new unemployment claims index 85.7 is well below our base year of 2,000"
Goitein says home sales were also up in the first quarter of 2014 nearly 21 percent, while home prices rose a scant 1.8% from the last quarter of 2013. The only spot that was disappointing, according to Goitein, was in retail spending. That was up just under 2% and he suggests that could be because wages were just keeping up with inflation.
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