Expectations strong at annual Economic Outlook Conference


Jobs in the state should grow in the coming year by 2.6 percent, while unemployment could fall as low as 4.5 percent.   File photo

Experts at the 36th Annual Economic Outlook Conference, recently hosted by the University of South Carolina, noted their positive economic outlook for South Carolina and the United States in 2017.

“We’ve got a lot of momentum going into next year,” USC economics professor Doug Woodward said at the event. “We’ve got a growing economy reaching toward full employment. Everything points toward economic advancement.”

According to economists at the university, jobs in the state should grow in the coming year by 2.6 percent, while unemployment could fall as low as 4.5 percent. They also expect income growth to hold steady at 4.8 percent.

“We’re seeing rising incomes and rising wages and that is going to draw more people into the labor market,” Woodward said.

Positive trends should affect not just the state of South Carolina, but the nation at large. Bruce Yandle, professor emeritus at Clemson University, concluded that national gross domestic product should increase by 2.2 percent in 2017. Yandle wrote in his quarterly “The Economic Situation” that he believes inflation, bond and mortgage rates will increase as well.

“The pace of manufacturing activity will accelerate from hardly moving to slow, led by machinery,” Yandle said. “When the records are in, 2016 will be a ho-hum year. 2017 will look better.”

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