Skip to main content
Monday, December 31, 2012 - 12:00pm

Economist Sees Construction Growth

Updated: 1 year ago.
The coastal area has been working itself out of the housing-led recession for many years. One economist says 2013 might be the year that the construction sector grows again. (photo Jeff Turner)

A Savannah economist is giving the city an upbeat forecast for 2013.

Armstrong Atlantic State University economics professor Michael Toma predicts upward trends in manufacturing, tourism and logistics.

Those are the key sectors in Savannah's economy and when they're improving, other sectors promise improvement as well.

As a case in point, Toma, author of a regional economics monitor, says he thinks next year will be the first since the 2007 recession in which construction employment inches up in the Savannah area.

"You can't just keep working the same subcontractors crazy when you're issuing 15% more building permits," Toma says. "We suspect those building permits will turn into housing starts. So, I anticipate some growth in the construction sector."

Toma says local companies poised for growth include business and professional services like marketing and web design.

Warehousing could pick up with harbor deepening.

And overall growth is expected at 1%.

Meanwhile, an hour's drive to the south, an economist says the Brunswick area has a long way to go to turn around its housing sector.

College of Coastal Georgia economics professor Don Mathews, however, expects modest economic growth in the six-county Brunswick region in 2013.

He says one bright light in the recovery from the recession is tourism -- as people elsewhere have more money to visit.

"Tourism is a very important industry for us," Mathews says. "And we had a nice year in tourism in 2012. And the port has been very strong. Our manufacturers are hanging in there."

The Port of Brunswick is the nation's third-largest auto import facility.

The College recently started publishing a Brunswick-area economic monitor with the Southeast Georgia Joint Development Authority.

Related Articles