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Armstrong State University’s Economic Monitor Reports 2nd Quarter Growth, Forecasts Slowdown

(October 24, 2016) - Armstrong State University’s latest Coastal Empire Economic Monitor, which analyzes data and identifies trends affecting the regional economy, reports that the Savannah metro economy continued its growth phase during the second quarter of 2016, but some turbulence lies ahead. Increased gains in total employment -- paired with boosts in consumer confidence, airport traffic and electricity sales -- carried positive numbers in the summer months, however, seasonally and inflation-adjusted port activity declined. Economic growth is expected to weaken through the second half of 2016 and in early 2017.

“If we look at the gains achieved in the first half of the year, we can, by comparison, expect growth to slow in the coming months,” said Michael Toma, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Economics and the Director of Armstrong’s Center for Regional Analysis. “The effects of Hurricane Matthew will further test the resiliency of the economy during the fourth quarter.”

In the housing market, building permit issuance for single-family homes fell sharply by 10 percent from the first quarter, marking a significant drop from the year prior. The seasonally adjusted number of new residential homes permitted for construction was 439, compared to 487 in the first quarter. The average valuation of building permits for single-family homes remained exceptionally strong, holding at about $250,000 for the second consecutive quarter. This is well over 20 percent higher than valuation data going back a few years, but is likely to decline in upcoming quarters. 

Additional highlights from the latest Economic Monitor include:

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 for free by email. To subscribe, emailCRA@armstrong.edu.

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.

NOTE TO MEDIA: Dr. Michael Toma, director of Armstrong’s Center for Regional Analysis, is available for telephone interviews at 912.604.5038. Media may also contact Melanie Simón at 912.344.2904 or Melanie.Simon@armstrong.edu for interview and image requests.

Deiondra Winn

Deiondra Winn
Class of 2016
Early Childhood, Child and Family Studies Track
Hinesville, Georgia