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Sunday, August 22, 2010 - 8:00pm

Economist: Savannah's Recession Over

Updated: 4 years ago.
Savannah's recession might be over, but that doesn't erase the number 10,000. That's how many jobs Savannah has sunk since the recession hit. (photo Steve Rhodes)

A regional economic forecaster says, the recession has ended in the Savannah area.

But business still has a long way to go before making it back to pre-recession levels.

Tourism and port activity grew strongly last quarter

But employment in the area is still about 10,000 jobs below what it was two years ago.

Armstrong Atlantic State University professor Michael Toma prepares the quarterly forecast for his college's Center for Regional Analysis.

"It's important to recognize that does't mean the Savannah area economy has recovered to its pre-recession level but that very specifically, the period of economic decay, or economic recession, that period is over," Toma says. "We have this notion in our minds that the economy is just terrible because unemployment is high and everything we hear and see in the newspapers or on television or the radio is just so bad, bad, bad, bad, bad and that’s not necessarily the case at all."

Toma says, it'll take about three more years of moderate growth to return to pre-recession employment.

A major drag on local business continues to be a dead residential home market.

A leading economic index shows, economic activity here is still at levels not seen since 1992.

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