South Carolina’s Economy Expected to Continue Growing

refugees-1020118_1920There’s more good news for the Palmetto State! According to a study conducted by economists at the Darla Moore School of Business, University of Southern Carolina, the state’s economy is ready to enter a seventh year of economic growth by July of this year. This is the first time since the Great Recession that there are more jobs with higher wages being created while other workers are collecting higher wages from their current employers. This combination is healthy fuel for consumer spending, and economists predict this trend will continue into 2017.

There are two markets driving the growth of our local economy. Thanks to advanced manufacturing in the state’s automotive and aerospace sectors, South Carolina and the southeastern U.S. now have one of the world’s fastest growing economies. The employment growth rate of the state has increased from 2.3 percent in prior years, to 2.8 percent today. This growth can be observed in many of our state’s industries. The sectors that have experienced the most growth includes professional fields like engineering, computer software design, and legal services. This is the first time this has happened since the Great Recession, and has significantly contributed to higher wages for both new and pre-existing jobs. Employment in the retail market will stay strong this year due to an increase in consumer spending, caused by an increase in discretionary income. South Carolina generally has a higher average personal income than the rest of the nation, and all of us will continue to reap the benefits. Personal income is expected to grow nearly 5 percent this year. This is higher than the national growth rate, which is expected to be 4 percent.

The real estate market has already started to feel the benefits of this economic growth. Last year, the number of homes constructed surpassed the number of homes remodeled. This is the first time this has happened since the Great Recession, and it is due to the increasing rate of employment and wages across South Carolina. As the research division director, Doug Woodward states, for the first time “in 28 years of forecasting our state’s economy, rarely have I seen our economy in such good shape and on such steady footing.”  Looking forward to the gains ahead of us!