California’s economic growth may have slowed somewhat in the first quarter of 2014, but this comes as no surprise given the economic headwinds faced by the rest of the nation. Newly revised numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the U.S. economy contracted at a 1% annualized pace in the first quarter of 2014, a disappointing result after a solid ending to 2013. But the reasons for this slowdown – a slow pace of inventory accumulation and fewer exports – can be traced directly to winter weather issues. Although California didn’t feel the cold, the overall slower growth did impact the state. While growth was still positive, by our estimates it was at a slower pace than in the fourth quarter of 2013. The good news is that these issues are transitory and we expect significantly stronger results in the current quarter both nationally and locally.

Manufacturing Leader: California is home to roughly one-quarter of the nation’s production of computer and electronic products. Over half (56%) of that production is located in Silicon Valley and close to one-quarter (21%) is in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Majority of New Jobs Not Low Wage: Over the last year 56% of new jobs created in California were in industries with average annual wages above $50,000. Central Valley Overlooked...and Growing: Far from being a stagnant region, the Central Valley posted 1.7% more employment growth in the first quarter of 2014 than it did in 2013.


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