Next Mountain State Business Index to be released June 27 - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Next Mountain State Business Index to be released June 27

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The West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research recently launched the Mountain State Business Index and has partnered with The State Journal to feature the index each month.

The second index will make its debut in the June 27 edition in this space. The index will be provided by the WVU BBER, and will feature insight from BBER Director John Deskins, who also is an associate professor at WVU.

“This index serves to consolidate the data that we read in the news into one simple and easy-to-follow statistic that points to where our state’s economy is likely heading over the next several months,” Deskins said. “I’ve often been asked ‘How is West Virginia’s economy doing?’ or ‘Where is the economy headed?’” Deskins said the index will help anyone be able to answer those questions.

The index is made up of seven economic indicators that were statistically determined to lead to expansions or contractions in the West Virginia economy.

The seven indicators are related to the following factors:

  • Building permits
  • Unemployment insurance claims
  • The value of the U.S. dollar
  • Stock prices related to West Virginia employers
  • Interest rates
  • Coal production
  • Natural gas production

The structure of the index generally follows that of the U.S. Conference Board, which publishes a similar index for the nation as a whole. But the Mountain State Business Index is tailored to specific economic conditions in West Virginia.

Under its development, the MSBI was tested for accuracy.

“We constructed the index retroactively for the past 20 years or so,” Deskins said. “We wanted to ensure that it actually does work as intended.”