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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

July 2, 2013 at 10:28 AM

Warehouses, waterways, construction, wood, jobs and jets

Catching up:

• John Boyd of the location consulting firm The Boyd Co. gave a presentation here last month. It listed Seattle 10th among 29 cities in the western United States and Canada for operating costs of distribution warehouses. The cost in Seattle totaled nearly $19 million annually. In Tacoma, the total was $16.3 million; Spokane came in at $16 million; Portland, $15.6 million. At $23.6 million, Vancouver, B.C. led the list and the lowest operating cost was Quincy, Wash., at $14 million. After the recession, the report stated, “communities are actively courting logistics industries because the economic benefits are clear and compelling.”

• The American Waterways Operators annual report was released, examining the impact of the tugboat, towboat and barge industry. The trade association offers an encyclopedic look at the performance, challenges and issues of this industry that remains a foundation of the Puget Sound Economy.

• The property and construction consultants Rider Levett Bucknall reported that construction costs in the first quarter of the year in Seattle were less than 1 percent. It was among the lowest in the 12 cities surveyed.

• I received a press release from the NC East economic-development organization in North Carolina trumpeting the aerospace industry, and it didn’t have the Puget Sound in mind:

The southeast U.S. has been the newest gymnasium where the aerospace industry has flexed its muscles. Major players like Boeing, Airbus, Gulfstream, Embraer, Honda Jets and key suppliers such as GE Aviation, Honeywell, Rolls Royce and Spirit AeroSystems dot the landscape.

• A survey from the non-profit Seattle Good Business Network offers some insights into buying local. The poll by Hemispheres of 495 King County adult residents found that 52 percent “feel good about buying from locally owned businesses.” Of those polled, 46 percent were willing to pay more to buy local. The three most important factors in deciding to patronize a local business were convenient location, high quality products and services, and low prices.

• The places where residents are most likely to be overqualified and underemployed are Springfield, Mass.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; Youngstown, Ohio; Stockton, Calif., and Las Vegas, according to a new report from Seattle-based PayScale.

• Because you live in the Northwest: Wood fiber prices are caught in the disinflationary/deflationary spiral. Wood Resource Quarterly recently reported that the first quarter Hardwood Wood Fiber Price Index fell by 1.1 percent and was more than 12 percent below its record high. A big reason: Increased supply from sawmills.

And Don’t Miss: A great explanation of the changes coming in GDP measurement | Econobrowser

Today’s Econ Haiku:

The Rodney Tom Bridge

Drive across it if you can

On the way to No


Comments | More in Aerospace/Boeing | Topics: construction, logistics, Maritime


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