Armstrong Atlantic State University Savannah Georgia.
LOGIN | CONTACT US | DIRECTORY

Coastal Empire Economic Monitor Third Quarter



Third Quarter Economic Monitor Shows Upward Trend


(Dec. 3, 2012) Following a note of cautious optimism for the first quarter and a healthy gain in the second, the Armstrong Atlantic State University Center for Regional Analysis’ third quarter Coastal Empire Economic Monitor shows a continued, robust upswing in the area’s economy and improvements across the board.

Steady gains in employment, tourism growth, port activity and improvements in the residential housing market and labor market propelled both the coincident index of economic activity and the leading economic index. The Savannah area saw significant employment gains in the service side of the economy in the private sector, while retail activity held steady and tourism remained solid. In addition, ridership on the trolleys and tour buses increased by six percent from the same time last year. Overall, the third quarter Monitor forecasts continuing economic improvement into the second quarter of 2013.

“Third quarter economic performance was notably strong,” said Michael Toma, director of the Center for Regional Analysis and Armstrong’s Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chair. “The October jobs report extends the momentum established in the third quarter. It is a good sign for the regional economy that employers are beginning to fill gaps in their workforce in response to increased demand.”

Specific increases were seen in the following:

  • The Coastal Empire coincident economic index increased 1.25 percent to 154.5 from 152.6.
  • The index is up 2.3 percent for the year with an accelerating growth rate.
  • Employers added 3,100 jobs during the third quarter, raising total employment to 153,800 (seasonally adjusted).
  • Job growth was seen in the fields of education, health, leisure and hospitality, business and professional services and retail sales.
  • Manufacturing added 100 workers, while construction lost 100 workers, leading to a steady hold for the goods-producing side of the economy.
  • Hotel room tax receipts were up, and hotel room rental activity is ahead of last year’s pace by seven percent.

The leading economic index increased 1.4 percent, to 125.1 from 123.3 (revised), marking the fastest three-quarter pace of improvement in three years. This lift came from substantial growth in residential home building permits. The seasonally adjusted number of new residential home construction permits increased markedly, over 34 percent since the second quarter. Residential building permit issuance is 15 percent over last year and is on track to be the best year since 2008.

The fourth quarter outlook is positive, in part because the completion of the presidential election may increase consumer confidence. However, the current debate in Congress could impede and potentially reverse fourth quarter growth in the absence of a resolution that avoids the tax increase and expenditure reduction associated with the so-called federal fiscal cliff.

The Coastal Empire Economic Monitor presents quarterly economic trends and short-term economic forecasts for Savannah’s Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The quarterly report measures the heartbeat of the local economy, based on the analysis of economic data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the City of Savannah, Georgia Power and the three counties in the MSA—Chatham, Bryan and Effingham. The report presents a short-term forecast of the region’s economic activity in the next six to nine months and is available free by electronic mail. To subscribe, email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Armstrong’s Center for Regional Analysis, housed in the university’s economics department, meets the applied research needs of Savannah’s business and community organizations. Areas of concentrated research include regional economic forecasting, economic impact analysis, economic development and business expansion, tourism development, survey-based research and specialty reports on topics of state, regional and local interest.

Latest Headlines


Armstrong Receives Board of Regents Approval to Drop “Atlantic” From University Name



Faculty and Staff Honored at 2014 Leadership Awards Ceremony



Armstrong to Host TechFest 2014 on April 11



Armstrong Collaborates with Georgia Southern to Host Annual Meeting



Armstrong to Host InterProfessional Health Care Summit