Economy & Economic Development  February 10, 2011

Vectra Small Business Index rises again in January

DENVER – The Vectra Bank Colorado Small Business Index for Colorado
measured 112.9 in January, up from a revised 106.3 in December 2010.

The index measures business conditions from the viewpoint of the small
business owner or manager.

Colorado’s unemployment rate – the most heavily weighted component of
the Vectra Bank Index – was estimated at 8.8 percent in the latest
month, up from the prior month’s 8.6 percent, while total employment
grew by 5,200 jobs during the past 12 months. The 8.8 percent rate
compares to 7.3 percent 12 months ago.

A higher jobless rate is a positive contributor to the index as it
suggests increased access to labor for small businesses. Other
associated factors typically tied to a higher unemployment rate, such as
lesser job creation, lesser income gains and lower retail sales, pull
the index lower.

“Colorado’s swing from net job losses during the most recent 12-month
period to net job gains should continue in coming months,´ said Jeff
Thredgold, corporate economist for Vectra Bank Colorado, in releasing
the latest index figures. “Colorado’s economic recovery remains on
track.”

The pace of U.S. economic performance is a component of the Small
Business Index for Colorado. Stronger growth is a positive contributor
to the Index, as it suggests greater outside stimulus impacting small
business opportunities within the state. Regional and global economic
performance are also components of the Small Business Index. The Index
uses 100.0 for calendar year 1997 as its base year.

National economic growth during 2010 came in at a 2.9 percent rate after
inflation, the strongest performance of the past five years. That
compares to a 2.6 percent real rate of decline during 2009, the depths
of the recession. The swing in performance from 2009 to 2010 was the
widest since 1983, according to Thredgold.

Fourth-quarter economic growth was led by stronger consumer spending.
Consumer spending, which accounts for roughly 70 percent of the overall
economy, rose at a 4.4 percent real annual rate during 2010’s final
quarter, the strongest performance in four years.

Part of the Zions Bancorporation family of banks, Vectra has 38
locations throughout Colorado and one in Farmington, N.M. For more
information, visit www.vectrabank.com.

DENVER – The Vectra Bank Colorado Small Business Index for Colorado
measured 112.9 in January, up from a revised 106.3 in December 2010.

The index measures business conditions from the viewpoint of the small
business owner or manager.

Colorado’s unemployment rate – the most heavily weighted component of
the Vectra Bank Index – was estimated at 8.8 percent in the latest
month, up from the prior month’s 8.6 percent, while total employment
grew by 5,200 jobs during the past 12 months. The 8.8 percent rate
compares to 7.3 percent 12 months…

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