SALT LAKE CITY — The Zions Bank Small Business Index for Utah rose to 113.0 in March, up from a revised 112.6 in April.
The index, which measures business conditions from the viewpoint of the Utah small business owner or manager, uses 100.0 for calendar year 1997 as its base year and includes revisions to various historical and new forecast components as they become available.
The performance of the U.S. economy is a component of the Small Business Index for Utah, as are the performances of the regional and the global economies. Stronger levels of performance boost the index.
Nationally, the U.S. economy grew at an inflation adjusted annual rate of 2.2 percent during first quarter of 2012, slightly below expectations. The growth was inferior to the 3.0 percent real annual growth pace in the prior quarter, the report stated.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported a net gain of 115,000 jobs in April 2012, sharply less than a consensus expectation of 165,000 jobs. Estimated job gains of the two prior months were revised higher by 53,000 jobs. The U.S. unemployment rate declined to 8.1 percent in April, the lowest rate in nearly three years.
Locally, Utah’s unemployment rate was estimated at 5.8 percent in April, up slightly from the 5.7 percent rate of the prior month. Total employment in the state grew by an estimated 27,400 jobs during the past 12 months.