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Economic Monitor Reports Economy Maintains Pace in 3rd Quarter, Expected to Slow

(January 3, 2017) - 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 maintained its course of healthy growth through the third quarter of 2016. All current economic indicators increased from the second to third quarter, with the exception of retail trade. Among these, employment growth and port activity provided the most lift to the index of economic activity. However, the forecasting index for the region declined during the quarter, which signals a potential slowdown on the horizon.  

“Economic growth in the Savannah metro area is expected to slow through the end of the year and into mid-2017,” said Dr. Michael Toma, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Economics and the Director of Armstrong’s Center for Regional Analysis. “The effects of Hurricane Matthew caused some drag on the economy, slowing its momentum as the year ends.”

In the housing market, building permit issuance for single-family homes nudged up slightly, but is down by 9% from levels one year ago. The seasonally adjusted number of new residential homes permitted for construction was 447, compared to 439 in the second quarter. As expected, the average valuation of building permits for single-family homes dropped sharply, falling from $250,000 to $205,000.

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 912.344-2538. Media may also contact Melanie Simón at 912.344.2904 or Melanie.Simon@armstrong.edu for interview and image requests.

Drew Ernst

“Armstrong provided me with a foundation that has served me well all of these years.”

Drew Ernst
Class of 1974
B.S. in Political Science