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Foreclosures, Bankruptcies Down; Job Growth Up

Foreclosures, Bankruptcies Down; Job Growth Up

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah's economy is looking up. Mortgage delinquencies, foreclosures and bankruptcies are all down while job growth is up.

Mortgage delinquencies fell to 4.74 percent in the three months ended Sept. 30, a half-percentage point drop from 5.24 percent during the same period in 2002 and down from 4.86 percent in this year's second quarter, according to a Mortgage Bankers Association of America survey released Tuesday.

Foreclosures in Utah fell to 1.65 percent during the third quarter, down from 1.92 percent during the same quarter in 2002 and 1.81 percent in this year's second quarter.

Bankruptcies in Utah were down 9 percent in November, compared to the same month of 2002, to 1,603 filings.

"Bankruptcies and delinquencies tend to be kind of the final shoe falling," said economic consultant Jeff Thredgold. "Utah has moved out of its recession."

Thredgold, president of Thredgold Economic Associates and an economic consultant to Zions Bank, said another positive indicator for the state is job growth.

"Utah job growth is up 2,500 jobs, which is the best number we've seen in about 21/2 years," he said.

Thredgold predicts 15,000 to 18,000 new jobs will be gained in 2004.

"It's not the boom conditions of the mid-'90s, but 2004 should be the best performance since 2000," Thredgold said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-12-10-03 0402MST

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