South Carolina’s economic growth has grown at a faster rate every year since 2010. But in 2016, that trend flattened, shifting from “acceleration to cruise control,” according to a research economist.
Joseph Von Nessen, who conducts economic impact analyses, forecasts and survey research at the University of South Carolina, says the state has seen a paradigm shift in the last year which will impact expectations for 2017.
The state’s economy is still strong and predicted to grow in 2017, but no major industries in the state are forecast to significantly expand beyond their current rate of growth in 2017, Von Nessen says.
The Charleston region is leading the way for much of that growth. Charleston’s average employment growth between 2015 and 2016 was 3.2%, which is higher than the Columbia region’s rate of 1.4%, the Upstate’s rate of 1.7% and the statewide rate of 2.2%, Von Nessen said.
The Myrtle Beach region saw 1.2% employment growth, while the Hilton Head area saw a 1.5% increase, he said.
Housing activity tends to closely follow those employment growth numbers. MLS sales activity in the Charleston region grew 11.9% from 2015 to 2016. Van Nessen forecasts it will go up about 8.1% in 2017.