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Friday, July 23, 2010 - 9:07am

Big Companies Boost State Economy

This week brought very good earnings reports for several major Georgia-based companies. And that could have a trickle-down effect in getting the state’s economy moving again.

Atlanta-based Delta Airlines just posted its largest quarterly profit in a decade. Its report of $467 million is a big turnaround from a year ago, when it lost more than $250 million.

Package delivery giant UPS nearly doubled its earnings of a year ago--earnings of $845 million, compared to $445 million one year ago.

And Atlanta-based Coca-Cola reported its net income rose 16 percent for the three month period ending in June.

Georgia State University economist Rajeev Dhawan says on a simple psychological level, this can pay immediate dividends to the state’s unemployed workers.

“These companies are global...their revenues depend on what happens globally. So this is also a sign to people in the economy locally over there that globally things are beginning to pick up a little bit. This can become a positive morale boost."

Dhawan also says "good earnings are a pre-condition for the management to think about expansion. No management wants to expand when the earnings are not growing. So this is a good sign.”

Georgia has a 10 percent unemployment rate -- still ahead of the national average.

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