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Armstrong State University’s Economic Monitor Reports Economy Slowed in 4th Quarter

(March 6, 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 slowed to a crawl in the closing quarter of 2016, largely due to the effects of Hurricane Matthew. As such, electricity and retail sales, as well as air travel, slipped. However, losses were offset by gains in employment, port activity and hotel room rentals. The area is expected to see healthy growth by mid-year.

“Although the economy lost quite a bit of momentum in the fourth quarter, the pace of growth will increase through the fall of 2017,” noted Dr. Michael Toma, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Economics and the Director of Armstrong’s Center for Regional Analysis. “First-quarter growth is likely to improve noticeably and then return to an above-average trend by summer.”

In the housing market, building permit issuance for single-family homes rose 5.1% from the third quarter, but still remains 16% below levels from one year ago. The average valuation of building permits for single-family homes rose as well, from $215,000 to $233,100, which presents a one-quarter gain of 8.4%.  

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, email CRA@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.

Kerry Coursey

"I truly believe the personal connections I developed with my instructors at Armstrong helped to shape the educator that I became."

Kerry Coursey
Class of 1996
Master’s Health and Physical Education and Educational Leadership