UGA forecast: Ga. economy to outperform U.S.

By WALTER C. JONES
Morris News Service
ATLANTA — The Georgia economy will continue improving and slightly outperform the rest of the nation, according to a forecast the University of Georgia released Thursday at the kickoff of a series of luncheon presentations around the state.
The university’s Selig Center for Economic Growth in the Terry College of Business prepared the forecast which calls for the state’s employment to grow by 2.1 percent in 2013. That would be a tiny improvement over the negative 2.0 percent pace for the current year.
It will surpass the nation’s 1.3 percent.
“I think Georgia’s economy will grow in 2013 and grow faster than the nation as a whole. That’s a change from what you’ve been hearing from me in the past five years,” Terry College Dean Robert Sumichrast said. “... Don’t get too excited. We’re only predicting growth a little over 2 percent.”
For the first time since 2000, no sector of private employment will reduce jobs, even though the government sector will.
The leisure/hospitality, professional/business services and manufacturing sectors are adding jobs at the fastest tempo. Exports will continue growing, but at a slower rate next year.

The UGA economists are betting that Congress finds a way to avert most of the impact of the so-called fiscal cliff of steep, federal tax hikes and spending reductions scheduled for Jan. 1.

The solution is likely to be less-drastic versions of the same cuts.

Local governments — like the federal government — will continue to shrink their payrolls as depressed real-estate values weaken property-tax collections.

However, state government here has already cut more than 6,000 jobs and now spends 4.3 percent less than it did 10 years ago, according to Gov. Nathan Deal, the luncheon’s leadoff speaker. It also doubled its reserves just since he entered office.

“I think it exemplifies in very concrete terms that the state of Georgia is trying to be frugal,” he said.

Sumichrast said the state’s efforts to trim are one reason Georgia’s economy will outperform the national economy next year. Low costs, tax advantages and friendly government policies will also contribute.

But the economists said small-business owners, who typically create the most jobs, will feel the sting of tax increases and will continue to have trouble getting money to expand.



More Local

Dedication ceremony held for renovated Ray Park

The newly renovated Ray Park is officially open, as Newnan city officials held a dedication and grand opening celebration on Thursday. &ldqu ... Read More


Watson out as headmaster of The Heritage School

James P. Watson, headmaster of The Heritage School, is no longer a staff member according to a statement released by the school this morning ... Read More


Two injured in rollover accident

Two teenage girls were injured and transported to the hospital after their vehicle overturned multiple times on Highway 154 Thursday. About ... Read More


Suspicious van harbors harmless investigator

A number of SummerGrove residents recently noticed a suspicious man who was allegedly watching children in their neighborhood from a gray va ... Read More


Downtown cleanup Saturday

Operation Cleanup, a trash pickup project for the back streets of downtown Newnan, will be held Saturday from 8 to 10 a.m. Everyone is invit ... Read More

New retail bakery coming to Newnan

Your Chef to Go Inc. will be expanding their catering business to include a retail bakery, as the Newnan City Council approved its rezoning ... Read More