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(Denver-AP) -- The Rocky Mountain region's economy grew for the sixth straight month, suggesting a strong holiday shopping season.
Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss expects the 2003 Christmas buying season to be the best since 1999 with year-over-year sales growth doubling the rate achieved for 2002.
The university's overall index for Colorado, Utah and Wyoming was 64-point-three compared with 64-point-eight in September. An index greater than 50 indicates growth.
The employment index for October was 57-point-three indicating significant job growth in the coming months, although Goss says job losses in manufacturing may never return.
Utah's overall index fell slightly from a record high of 66-point-two in September to 65-point-four in October. The state had strong new orders at 74-point-three, production at 75, employment at 57-point-five and inventories at 59-point-five. Supply managers reported new export orders at 67-point-two.
Goss said Utah can expect job growth through next year.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)