Despite Stock Market, UT Says Our Economy Is Strong
KNOXVILLE (WDEF) – The University of Tennessee’s Center for Business and Economic Research says the state and national economies are strong, despite the recent stock market drop.
The report issued on Friday notes strong job growth and consumer spending for 2016.
“Financial market instability has captured the headlines, but the fact is that the nation’s economy is in good shape and continues to expand,” said Matt Murray, associate director of CBER and the report’s lead author.
Some predictions for Tennessee:
• Tennessee’s unemployment rate is expected to average 5.5 percent this year and then fall to 5.4 percent in 2017.
• Nonfarm employment increased by 1.9 percent in 2015, representing a gain of more than 54,600 jobs. It is expected to grow by 1.7 percent this year and 1.3 percent in 2017.
• Hottest job creators: Leisure and hospitality fields, professional and business services, and natural resources, mining, and construction.
• Nominal personal income should rise by 4.8 percent this year and 4.7 percent in 2017.
• Sales tax should grow rapidly, particularly from hotels, motels and cars
• Tennessee’s tax revenue growth outpaced both the national and regional average in fiscal year 2015. Tennessee had a 6.5 percent growth rate in total tax revenues. Among the 12 southeastern states, only Virginia, Mississippi and North Carolina enjoyed faster tax revenue growth than Tennessee.
The report also concludes that education programs like Tennessee Promise and Drive to 55 will boost the economy.
“These efforts could support stronger income growth and a narrowing of the gap between the incomes of Tennesseans and other Americans,” said Murray.