NC Economy

NC Economic Forecast

Jul 9, 2014
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The U.S. economy shrank sharply in the first quarter but most analysts, including UNC Charlotte economics professor John Connaughton, saw that as a temporary setback. Connaughton recently released his second quarter findings and forecast and we’ll check in with him to see if that bounce back occurred. The stock market is roaring, businesses are hiring but legislators in Raleigh continue to bicker over the budget. 

Bureau of Labor Statistics

The North Carolina Commerce Department announced Monday that the state's unemployment rate declined in March to 6.3 percent. A federal department also released data recently that show how North Carolina's job growth stacks up against other states.


It’s time for our quarterly economic forecast with UNC Charlotte professor, Dr. John Connaughton, but this time there will be a twist. National publications such as Bloomberg see North Carolina’s unemployment policy as a test tube for the rest of the nation. So we’ve invited political science Professor, Dr. Eric Heberlig to join the conversation. Dr. Connaughton and Dr. Heberlig will help us explore the renewed debate on the war on poverty, unemployment, and whether to raise the minimum wage. All three issues have garnered national attention recently and they are all affecting North Carolina’s economy. Join us to find out how the state is faring early in the year and whether these issues will effect our economy, the midterm elections and more.

By all accounts 2013 has been a roller coaster year for the US economy. There have been very encouraging signs of late but there was also a government shutdown, fits and starts on Wall Street and mixed news out of Europe. The Affordable Care Act is also being implemented to mixed reviews around the country and the battle over minimum wage has been renewed. A budget deal worked its way through congress and the latest unemployment figures look good. So just how well did we do in 2013 and does the year ahead bode well? We'll ask those questions and more of regular guest, economist John Connaughton.

Michael Tomsic

The economy in Charlotte and North Carolina as a whole next year will be like a NASCAR race under a caution flag – it’ll move forward, but not too fast. That was the message from executives at the Charlotte Chamber’s annual economic outlook conference Monday.


As Charlotte grows, so too do surrounding towns and cities. Small farming communities or sleepy textile mill towns have transformed into independent, vibrant towns with their own identities - how did they get there? Many people work in Charlotte but live all over the metro area. What makes those towns and cities home? How do they maintain their own identities and preserve their histories without being absorbed as another outlying suburb of Charlotte? We'll look at the unique challenges towns face, their relationship with the city of Charlotte and the state and find out how they distinguish themselves. How do small towns like Belmont, Matthews and Huntersville creatively stimulate economic growth? We'll find out from the people responsible for their growth and success in a wide-ranging conversation about smart growth, development, town identity and more, when Charlotte Talks.

UNC Charlotte professor John Connaughton says that the North Carolina economy will grow modestly in 2013 after losing some traction in 2012. In his quarterly forecast for the state, Connaughton outlines how growth in the first half of the year will be slow as a result of several factors. Things like continued uncertainty in Europe, tax increases and spending cuts, and rising gasoline prices will affect how quickly our state’s economy gets off the ground. But North Carolina will prosper. He also says that although we avoided going over the fiscal cliff, we did not dodge tax increases or spending cuts. Economics can be a tricky thing to grasp, but Connaughton will help us understand it all, when Charlotte Talks.

Peter Shanks/Flickr

The combination of tax raises and spending cuts, known as the fiscal cliff, begins taking effect on Wednesday. If no compromise is reached in Washington, North Carolina could lose nearly 30,000 jobs and three percent of its economic output, according to a July report from George Mason University. That’s next year alone. Overall, North Carolina would face more than a $120 billion in cuts over the next decade.

John Connaughton, Director of the Babson Capital Economic Forecast, has joined us every business quarter this year to forecast the months ahead and to look back at the year so far. This quarter we'll look back over the whole year as well as taking a peek into economic health for North Carolina in 2013. We'll also look at how the fiscal cliff issue may affect North Carolina directly and whether Dr. Connaughton thinks a second recession is looming or whether we are on the road to recovery. Our economic year in review and a prediction of things to come, when Charlotte Talks.