In the opening month of 1968, the state's economy continued to move along the high income and employment plateaus, which it initially achieved last summer. Since the beginning of the copper strike, there has been little evidence of more than a horizontal movement in either of these two major indexes of the region's economic performance. This is not to say, however, that progress is absent. Most Utahns have experienced a continued advance in their personal income position and the total number of individuals employed has grown. The fact is simply that the rate of improvement for both employment and income receipts has slowed considerably from its earlier pace. Uncertainties caused by the extended copper strike and the Pueblo incident have lessened some of the exuberance which, under more normal conditions, could be expected from the area's consumers in view of their historically high income receipts. Indeed, there appears to be a local wait-and-watch attitude, much the same as that reported on the national scene. An early resolution of Utah's labor difficulties coupled with almost any improvement in the international outlook could be expected to result in a marked stirring of interest among the region's consumers. Certainly there is ample evidence of a strong position in liquid asset holdings which, coupled with the continued gentle rise in personal income receipts, promises future advances in consumption spending throughout the state. The accompanying charts (both here and on page 4) clearly reflect both the recent horizontal movement of the state's general economic indexes and the dramatic decline of mineral production.
University of Utah
Bureau of Economic and Business Research. (1968-1972). Utah Economic and Business Review.