AASU Economic Monitor: Regional Economy Stabilizes
(October 9, 2009) The 2009 second quarter issue of the Coastal Empire Economic Monitor is now available at http://www.armstrong.edu/Liberal_Arts/economics/economics_economic_monitor The .Economic Monitor, published by Armstrong Atlantic State University's Center for Regional Analysis, presents quarterly economic trends and short-term economic forecasts for Savannah's Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).
Data for the second quarter of 2009 show that the Savannah metro economy appears to begin stabilizing, although underlying indicators of current economic activity are sending mixed signals. The Coastal Empire coincident economic index has leveled off from the previous five quarters of continued decline.
"In general, while the health of the regional economy is beginning to improve, the basis for a recovery has not been established yet," said Michael Toma, director of AASU's Center for Regional Analysis.
The leading economic index continued to fall, but did so at a much reduced pace. Said Toma, "This is the second consecutive quarter during which the rate of decline in the forecasting index slowed," said Toma. "At this time, the forecasting index suggests economic conditions in the region will continue to face headwinds, but these will weaken during the remainder of 2009."
The combination of mixed activity in underlying indicators could be interpreted as a turning point for the economy, but there remains some "murkiness in the water." Three key indicators—the regional employment, electricity sales and consumer expending—have not staged a recovery.
The Economic Monitor's, leading and coincident indexes offer readers an informational tool that can be used to adjust to changes in regional demand conditions. The signals provided by the indicators may be used to control inventory, optimize staffing, adjust marketing or pricing strategies, forecast revenue or capitalize on other opportunities in the regional economy.
The 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.