A wide variety of indicators suggest that economic growth in California was strong in the first half of 1996. Statistics on the California labor market, personal income, consumer spending, firm formation, and housing markets all point to large gains in economic activity this year.
Strength in business and real estate loan demand contributed to a large increase in lending by California banks in April and May.
Job growth accelerated recently in the fast-growing Intermountain states of Nevada, Utah, and Idaho. Economic conditions in the Pacific Northwestern states of Oregon and Washington also continued to improve. However, the Alaskan and Hawaiian economies have weakened a bit in recent months.
In terms of job growth over the past year, the District contains the four fastest-growing states in the nation: Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Oregon. Arizona, California, and Washington also are growing faster than the overall U.S.