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Thursday, December 16, 2010 - 1:12pm

Economy Predicted To Grow in 2011

Don’t be too cautious – that’s the advice to Georgia business owners from a top economic forecaster.

Robert Sumichrast, Dean of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, spoke to 800 business leaders Wednesday at the 28th annual Economic Forecast luncheon hosted by Terry’s Selig Center for Economic Forecasts.

He says too many corporations are sitting on large cash reserves and small businesses are too reluctant to hire. That led the state unemployment rate to jump to 10.1 percent in November.

But Sumichrast says things are about to get better:

“2011 is going to be the first time in seven year’s when Georgia’s economy matches the nation’s.”

The state’s fastest-growing industries in 2011, Sumichrast predicts, will be business services and the transportation and warehousing industry.

And for the first time in many years, Georgia’s manufacturing industries will be hiring.

He says two cities will lead Georgia’s recovery:

“If you were to look at the two metro areas of the state that have the best chances of the state it would be metro Atlanta and Savannah. Metro Atlanta as the largest city in the state and the transportation hub. And Savannah because of the growing demand for exports outside of the U.S.”

But Sumichrast warns despite signs of economic recovery in 2011, it will still be tough to find a job next year.