More News

'Barometer' Points To Clearer Skies Ahead

By Jenny Callison, posted Jul 22, 2014
Clearing and partly sunny, with a chance of occasional showers: that’s the rough translation, in weather terms, of the Economic Barometer that University of North Carolina Wilmington economists have prepared for the third quarter of 2014. Most indicators are positive, but some economic sectors remain volatile, the report indicates.

For the Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) specifically, UNCW senior economist Woody Hall forecasts a modest rise of 2.2 percent in gross domestic product (GDP) this calendar year. That’s just slightly higher than the U.S. Department of Commerce’s  forecast for national GDP growth, Hall wrote.

Hall believes that local unemployment will continue its current downward trend, although average monthly MSA employment gains continue to be “relatively weak.”

Data on local retail sales (slowing), New Hanover County room tax collections (up over the previous year) and residential real estate (stabilized with moderate growth) are also included in Hall’s report.

The outlook for the national economy, prepared by UNCW executive-in-residence Tom Simpson, highlights “robust gains” in the labor market during the first half of 2014, and a rise in the hours worked by private sector employees. These positive signs are tempered somewhat by a slowdown in productivity, driven partly by the “weaker pace of investment” over recent years, Simpson pointed out.

His report also looked at household consumption (erratic), net worth and disposable personal income (rising steadily), household debt service payments (plummeting), housing affordability (favorable) and home sales (firming).

After analyzing these indicators, Simpson predicted growth in real GDP as “likely to be in the 3 percent range over the next couple of years, about 1 percentage point faster than growth in potential output.” He further stated: “In these circumstances, economic slack will diminish gradually.”

This gradual improvement will not show in substantially lower unemployment rates, Simpson believes, because an improving labor market will likely expand the labor pool by attracting workers who had stopped searching.

A benefit of gradual recovery, Simpson pointed out, is that inflation could well remain below the Fed’s 2 percent target. “Accordingly, the Fed will be unhurried in normalizing its policy interest rate  . . . “ he wrote.

To read the third quarter Economic Barometer in its entirety, click here.
Ico insights


Lyleheadshot2017 1251720228

Community Service PTO Benefits Your Company, as Well as Your Community

JC Lyle - Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry
Susan 2 april242017

Spring Cleaning

Susan Willett - Old North State Trust, LLC
Geofflosee300x300 10221511305

Majority Rules: The Legal Impact of Your Kids Turning 18

Geoffrey Losee - Rountree Losee LLP

Trending News

New Firm Chooses Dutch Square Industrial Park Space For Headquarters

Cece Nunn - May 23, 2018

Live Oak Bank Launches Franchise Restaurant Lending Vertical

Jenny Callison - May 23, 2018

COO Of Wilmington Realtors' Group Hired As CEO Of San Antonio Association

Cece Nunn - May 23, 2018

Work To Begin Soon On Permanent Campus For Girls Leadership Academy Of Wilmington

Cece Nunn - May 24, 2018

Marina Grill Launches Riverfront Music Series

Jessica Maurer - May 23, 2018

In The Current Issue

A Ruff Day At The Office: Dogs On The Job

“Having the dog in the office reduces a little bit of stress and brings people together,” said Jennifer Manocchio, president of Sweeney, a p...

Aquesta Bank Earnings Sharply On The Rise

“Our asset quality is good. What we have is a lot of growth,” said Jim Engel, Aquesta’s CEO and president, noting that the bank has seen “tr...

Block By Block

Hundreds of millions of dollars in major development investment is on the way or in the planning stages for downtown Wilmington, but relativ...

Book On Business

The 2018 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!



2018 Power Breakfast: The Main Event
2018 WilmingtonBiz Expo - Keynote Lunch with Eric Dinenberg, Rouse Properties
2017 Health Care Heroes