Metro Denver regarded as a strong location for business as robust job growth continues
Strong growth throughout Metro Denver’s economy has helped to highlight the region as a leading area in which to live and do business, according to data compiled by the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC) in its Monthly Economic Summary for October 2013.
Several national accolades have recognized Metro Denver and Colorado as highly desired locations for businesses and residents, poised for growth in the coming decade.
Forbes recently ranked Colorado as the fifth-best state and Denver as the sixth-best city for business and careers. A Harris poll also found that Colorado was the fifth-most desired state to live in, with Denver ranking as the seventh most-desired city to live in nationally. Forbes predicts that Metro Denver will be part of the fastest-growing region in the nation over the next decade, as businesses and workers take advantage of the region’s robust job growth and high quality of life.
“As businesses continued to expand their workforces, demand for office space grew during the third quarter,” said Patty Silverstein, chief economist for the Metro Denver EDC and president of Development Research Partners.
CoStar data show that the direct vacancy rate reached the lowest point since the fourth quarter of 2001, falling to 11.3 percent. The rate was a decrease of 0.3 percentage points compared with the previous quarter and 1.2 percentage points over-the-year.
Silverstein also notes that construction in the office market ramped up during the third quarter as demand for space grew. The amount of space under construction increased 60 percent over-the-quarter to 1.3 million square feet and was nearly 33 percent above the level last year. So far this year, about 800,000 square feet of office space has been completed.
Retail sales in Metro Denver grew at a brisk pace through the first half of 2013, indicating that consumers were spending more and that confidence was rising. The Consumer Confidence Index for the Mountain Region was up through the first nine months of the year compared with the same period in 2012, indicating that retail sales should remain strong for the third quarter.
While the Metro Denver region is starting from a strong base, the government shutdown that began October 1 will be a considerable risk to consumers’ confidence and economic growth. Uncertainty about fiscal policies and the effect that prolonged furloughs will have on growth may lead to setbacks for the national and local economies.
Employment growth and retail sales were just two of the 17 Metro Denver indicators that moved in a positive annual direction in this report, unchanged from the 17 reported in the previous month. Fourteen of the indicators moved in a positive monthly direction, compared to 13 in the previous report.