Sonoma County economy shows positive signs
Modest progress reported in Moody's Analytics report
The outlook for Sonoma County business appears to be modestly positive according to an "Insider" report developed for the Sonoma County Economic Development Board by Moody's Analytics and released to the public this week. Included in the data was the fact that the county's unemployment rate is down nearly a full percentage point (compared to last March) to nearly 10 percent, and consumer credit in the county is improving, with delinquency rates for all types of credit remaining below state level.
The report also predicted that the housing market in Sonoma County "will reach its true bottom in 2011...By the end of this year, housing affordability will reach a record high in Sonoma County, a positive outcome of further price declines for homebuyers.
Ben Stone, executive director of the EDB, summarized the report by noting the following highlights:
• Job losses have finally eased in formerly hard-hit industries such as construction, reflecting overall improvement in the labor market from the
• Consumer credit conditions are improving. Delinquency rates for all types of credit remain below the state level, although mortgage delinquencies remain at elevated levels.
• The pace of economic recovery in Sonoma County and the U.S. will be assisted by strong growth in developing Asia in 2011 and 2012.
• Stronger job growth in office-using industries will help to lower office vacancies in 2011. The vacancy rate will fall below 20% by 2012 as Sonoma County transitions into a full economic expansion.