Economy

Boise Hawks

A new stadium proposed for the outskirts of downtown Boise is gaining momentum; developers say the project could generate $200 million-worth of growth in the area.

The tentative deal between developer Greenstone Properties and St. Luke’s Health System would transform 11 acres around Americana Boulevard and Shoreline Drive into a venue that would house Boise’s minor league baseball team, the Hawks, and service other local sports.

Four acres would be set aside for the stadium, while the remaining 7 acres would be used for residential, office and parking space.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Idaho’s agricultural exports decreased by almost eight percent in 2016. The downturn comes as the U.S. dollar remains strong compared to other major currencies.

Since its record high in 2014, Idaho agricultural exports have been declining. The Capital Press newspaper reports the high value of the dollar is part of the problem. Digging into the numbers, Mexico imported the most Idaho products – about $176 million worth. Canada and China came next.

Matt Guilhem / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers are gearing up to spend the final few weeks of the legislative session focused on transportation funding possibilities, including a key tool the Legislature hasn't leveraged since 2005.

Last week, Sen. Bert Brackett, a Republican from Rogerson, introduced legislation to allow the state to borrow $300 million in bonds for road projects and repay it with future federal highway payments.

Joe Jaszewski / The Idaho Statesman

Idaho residents are helping to boost the economy of a small Oregon town by purchasing marijuana from the town's two dispensaries, which lie along the border between the two states.

Huntington, Oregon, has 435 residents, but the city's pot shops can serve up to 600 customers on a busy day, with most coming from out of town, The Idaho Statesman reported.

Julio Cortez / AP

Gas prices have been flat for a month, except in Idaho. The Gem State’s prices are up.

AAA Idaho says the state’s average price went up seven cents in February to $2.44 a gallon. The national average is $2.30 a gallon.

The price hike began when Plains All American Pipeline had to shut down its Wasatch gas pipeline. That cut off the supply of crude oil from Wyoming to Salt Lake City where it gets refined into gasoline. Without a pipeline, the oil is being sent by truck, which takes time and costs more.

Tom Michael / Boise State Public Radio

Many agree the immigration system is broken, and there’s a national debate on how best to fix it. This debate is sometimes based on emotions, not on data. But a new study released Tuesday is taking a closer look at the numbers.

Asmaa Albukaie was Boise’s first refugee from Syria, arriving in late 2014.

"For me as a refugee, I came searching for safety and peace," Albukaie says.

She found that. She also found work.

Idaho Racing Commission

Officials with the Idaho Racing Commission say they'll run out of money by 2018, leaving them unable to regulate the state's horse racing industry unless lawmakers help funnel funds their way.

However, top Republican leaders say they no longer trust the racing industry because of their ongoing efforts to reinstate illegal instant racing betting terminals. Instant horse racing allows bettors to place wages on prior horse races with no identifiable information.

Idaho Statesman

The president's executive action is getting mixed reactions from the business community in Idaho. The spectrum of responses runs from concern for workers' families and the talent pool – to silence.

Idaho National Laboratory

The Idaho National Laboratory contributed $1.9 billion to the state's economic output in fiscal year 2016, about 20 percent more than 2015.

The Post Register reports that according to a new report by Rexburg's Research & Business Development Center, the lab's gross economic activity made up 2.9 percent of the state's total economic fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30.

CompassioninWorldFarming / Flickr

Idaho’s dairy industry will be watching the new Trump administration’s trade policy, as one of the state’s biggest sectors is bracing for a flat year.

The president of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association told an agriculture conference last month that any increase in Idaho’s milk production would be exported abroad.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts that by November of this year, dairy exports will be 8.9 billion pounds – that’s slightly higher than last November’s 8.7 billion pounds.

PNC Financial Services Group

The slow recovery of the U.S. economy is continuing to keep the cost of Christmas from spiraling out of control. 

Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group has tracked the cost of the gifts mentioned in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" song for the last 33 years. Think of it as a way spice up the otherwise dry topic of inflation.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho is picking up close to $4 million in federal money to prevent and end homelessness.

Tuesday the Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the state $3.6 million to fund 32 local projects aimed at helping the homeless.

Programs from all corners of the state will receive awards. CATCH of Ada County Rapid Re-housing will pick up $89,000. Idaho Falls Permanent Housing will get $86,000. And Magic Valley Rapid Re-housing will get $44,000.

money, dollars, wages
401(K)2013 / Flickr Creative Commons

Weekly wages in Idaho’s private sector are on the rise, according to a recent report out by the state’s Department of Labor.

Weekly earnings have increased by $30 from the second quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of this year, according to the report.

The 4.2 percent growth rate that’s pushed the weekly wage up to 743 dollars is double the national average. Robust growth like that puts Idaho in fourth place nationally for over-the-year wage growth.

money, budget
Tax Credits / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho is on track to finish the fiscal year with $139 million more tax revenue than the 2016 Legislature predicted, if the latest forecast holds true.

According to revenue projections released Thursday, Idaho should take in nearly $3.26 billion from state tax and fees for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017. The amount is $92 million more than what lawmakers originally estimated during this year's legislative session.

real estate, home for sale, housing market
Scott Graf / Boise State Public Radio

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has increased the price of mortgages they will insure in 2017.

This is the first time since 2009 that HUD has increased the amount for federally backed mortgages. Growing demand for housing in Idaho is a factor.

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