Published: Nov. 1, 2019 By

While Colorado’s economy is still a national leader, business growth is slowing, according to a CU Boulder report Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold released today.

Denver skyline.Denver's skyline (Credit: CU Boulder)

The quarterly report, prepared by the Leeds Business Research Division at CU Boulder, shows 31,105 new corporations, nonprofits and other entities filed initial documents with the secretary of state’s office in the third quarter of 2019. New entity filings fell 2.1% from the second quarter of 2019—the slowest growth in four years. The filings mark a 0.3% increase over the same period in 2018.

Existing entity filings remain strong, showing a 3.9% increase year-over-year. The secretary of state’s office marked 142,020 third quarter renewal filings.

The report indicates Colorado employment growth will continue to grow over the next six months.

“Colorado’s economy continues to lead the nation in wage growth and employment, though growth is showing signs of slowing,” said Secretary Jena Griswold. "I am happy to see that Colorado’s economy should grow through the end of the year and into 2020, even as business leaders are more pessimistic with economic uncertainty."

Dissolution filings fell 6.8% from the second quarter, though they were up 3.7% from the same period last year.

Colorado’s wage growth outpaced the nation in the third quarter, increasing 3.3% compared to 3% nationally.

“Although slowing is the word of the day, Colorado still has one of the stronger economies in the U.S. with year over year employment growth at 2%,” said Richard Wobbekind, executive director of the Leeds Business Research Division.

The Colorado economy overall

Initial jobless claims continued a downward trend in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falling 7.5% annually. Job growth in Colorado continues as national employment growth stagnates.

Colorado business leaders are turning less optimistic about the economy. The latest Leeds Business Confidence Index slipped below the neutral mark for the first time in several years. Business leaders were most pessimistic about the national economy, citing political and trade concerns. The LBCI was conducted prior to the announcement of impeachment proceedings.

Building permits decreased 1.4% across Colorado over the last year. Single family and multifamily permits are declining. That could help explain the second quarter Federal Housing Finance Agency Purchase Only Index, which shows Colorado’s home price growing 5.4%.