The Center for Economic Development and Business Research has released a slide presentation comparing the demographic and economic characteristics of the Wichita MSA to those of four other metropolitan areas. Those four metros were chosen because their demographics and industry mix are similar to Wichita.
Wichita Residents Are More Miserable than Other Kansas Residents
The Misery Index indicates that people in the United States, as a whole, continue to be more miserable than people in Wichita or Kansas. Wichita residents have continued to be more miserable than Kansas residents in general,but the gap has narrowed from a year ago. This can be attributed to larger declines in the unemployment rate in Wichita compared to the state.
The Misery Index calculated by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research (CEDBR) includes the following information:
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
House Price Index (HPI) from the Federal Housing Finance Agency
Unemployment Rates (UR) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
The WSU Current Conditions Index dropped 0.7 percent from September to October. Although employment increased slightly, 0.4 percent, and the unemployment rate dropped 0.8 percentage points, these improvements were not enough to counter the negative impact of a 21.7 percent decline in the number of home sales in the Wichita area for that time period.
When comparing the 12 months ending in October to the previous 12 months, the decline in home sales appears less bleak, with only a 7.6 percent decrease. During that same time period, the overall Index value declined only 0.2 percent, reflecting some stability among the Index indicators.
Local Index Benefits From Improving U.S. Indicators
Six of the nine WSU Leading Index indicators showed improvement from September to October; yet, the overall Index value increased only 0.2 percent from month to month. The indicators showing the largest percentage increase were the value of residential and nonresidential building permits, 15.1 and 26 percent, respectively.
Year-to-year average data for the 12 months ending in October represented an 8.9 percent increase in the overall Index. A 7.3 Index point gain in The Conference Board’s national Leading Economic Indicators Index contributed to that year-to-year boost to the WSU Index.