Georgia Southern University
In January 2018, Armstrong State University consolidated with Georgia Southern University. This site serves as the permanent web archives of the historic Armstrong State University. For current information about the Armstrong Campus of Georgia Southern University, visit
h > News > News Archives > Economic Monitor Reports Savannah Economic Growth in 1st Quarter 2017

Economic Monitor Reports Savannah Economic Growth in 1st Quarter 2017

(June 26, 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 returned to healthy growth in the opening quarter of 2017, as the negative effects of Hurricane Matthew dissipated. Employment, airport travel, retail sales and consumer confidence were especially strong during this period, as was record-setting port activity.

“The regional economy quickly escaped the grasp of Hurricane Matthew in the first quarter of 2017,” noted Dr. Michael Toma, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Economics and the Director of Armstrong’s Center for Regional Analysis. “We should expect even more growth in the summer months, which should be sustainable through the end of the year.”

In the housing market, building permit issuance for single-family homes jumped again for the second consecutive quarter, rising 12 percent from 2016’s fourth quarter, and now stands 6 percent above data from a year ago. The seasonally adjusted number of new residential homes permitted for construction was 496, compared to 444 in the final 2016 quarter. The average valuation of building permits for single-family homes fell 3 percent from $233,000 to $226,000.

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, email

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 for interview and image requests.

Brent Feske, Ph.D.

"I love seeing students get inspired by chemistry, in the classroom and in the lab."

Brent Feske, Ph.D.
Teaching since: 2005