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Spokane recovering, Kootenai County still in recession

Spokane's economy is recovering, Coeur d'Alene's remains in recession, according to a new analysis of June data released Monday by Moody's Economy.com.

But the Kootenai County city's ranking for cost of doing business and cost of living are slightly better than those for Spokane, as is projected employment growth through 2011, the noted economic research firm concluded.

Offseting Coeur d'Alene's the positives are retreating home prices, which significantly exceeded national levels three years ago, says Moody's, which looked at 392 urban markets.

Spokane was ranked 149th for job growth, compared with 41st for Coeur d'Alene. Cost of business in Spokane was 81 percent of the national average, Coeur d'Alene's was 76 percent.

In cost of living, Spokane was 97 percent of the national average, Coeur d'Alene was 96 percent.

Among Spokane strengths, Moody's says, are the diversity of industries and stable military and health care sectors. A negative is the unfavorable cost-to-income balance.

Coeur d'Alene benefits from its strengths in health care and hospitality, but lags in educational attainment.

The Washington and Idaho economies are recovering, Moody's says.




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Bert Caldwell
Bert Caldwell oversees production of the opinion pages, including writing editorials, and editing and selecting letters, columns and cartoons.





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