SC economic growth is the strongest it has been in the last 20 years, and is standing on solid ground for strong economic growth in 2016, according to a report by University of South Carolina (USC) economists. USC predicts that the South Carolina economy will enter its seventh year of economic growth by July 2016.

For the first time since the Great Recession more jobs with higher wages are being created at the same time workers are getting higher wages in their current jobs. This economic cycle, which fuels consumer spending is expected to continue next year.

USC School of Business Forecasts Strongest Economic Growth in Years

Doug Woodward, the research division director at the USC Darla Moore School of Business said “in 28 years of forecasting our state’s economy, rarely have I seen our economy in such good shape and on such steady footing.” The advanced manufacturing in the state’s automotive and aerospace clusters, have made South Carolina and the southeastern US one of the world’s fastest growing markets. The report states that for the first time since the Great Recession the following economic conditions have occurred.

  • South Carolina’s economic growth rate significantly exceeds the prerecession growth rate between 2002 and 2007.
  • The overall employment growth rate in South Carolina was 2.8 percent, compared to 2.3 percent in previous expansion years. This growth is reflected in most industries across the state.
  • Professional jobs such as engineering, computer software design, and legal services have seen significant growth in 2015 for the first time since the recession. This has played a big part in the overall good report on higher wages in the state both for new and existing jobs.
  • South Carolina has consistently beaten the national average for personal income, and next year is no different. In 2016 personal income in South Carolina is expected to grow by 4.9 percent compared to the national average of 4 percent. South Carolina had a growth rate of 4.6 percent in personal income during 2015.
  • Growth in retail employment will remain strong in 2016 due to the increase in consumer spending caused by more discretionary income. Retail employment doubled in growth from the previous year to 4.5 percent.
  • The number of homes constructed in 2015 exceeded the number of remodeled homes for the first time in the economic recovery, due to the high employment rate and higher wages across the state.

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