Growth spurt

Shoppers on Main Street in downtown Grand Junction.

Slight increases in new business filings, renewals and employment point to what should be a healthy second half of 2019 for Colorado, according to an economic update released Thursday by the Colorado Secretary of State's office.

However, growth has slowed with new business filings increasing just 0.6% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2019.

Over 12 months, ending in the second quarter, the state saw 127,103 new business filings, according to the report. More than 31,000 of those filings came in the second quarter of 2019.

In June, Colorado added 52,800 jobs year-over-year, according to the report, which is done in partnership with the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business.

Based on the uptick in new filings over the year, plus employment growth, the Secretary of State's office expects to see more job growth throughout the year.

Existing business renewals increased to 135,848 in the second quarter, a 2.2% bump year-over-year. This marks the slowest pace of growth in that category since 2012.

Business renewals are required each year by the Secretary of State. Spokesperson Serena Woods said the economic indicators report was developed in part to look at business renewals and new filings to draw comparisons between the numbers and the state of the economy.

"If businesses are starting or continuing to exist, it's an indicator that things are going well," Woods said.

Building permits in the state have decreased 11.3% over the past year across the state and 22.9% through the first five months of the year compared to the same period in 2018.

In Mesa County, building permits are down 15% through July, compared to the first seven months of last year, according to a monthly report released by Bray Real Estate.

Housing prices have grown 4.8% year-over-year throughout the state, a slower rate compared to the past five years.

The median home price in Mesa County at the end of July was $252,000, a 7% increase compared to 2018.

Colorado continues its strong labor market as unemployment rates dipped to 3% in June and has the 11th lowest rate in the country. Wages grew 3.6% year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2018 and personal income rose 5.1% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2019.

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