Report: NC economy surges ‘very strong’ 3.4%
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina’s economy is surging with an index of data climbing to its highest point in two years, says NCSU economist Dr. Michael Walden.
The economy’s improvement is reflected in the state’s jobless rate, which fell to 5.4 percent in April. That’s the lowest in eight years.
Wages are up, too.
Another boost: Decline of the dollar vs. foreign currencies, leading to an improvement in manufacturing.
“The Index surged in April, rising a strong 3.4 percent,” Walden wrote in a note about the NCSU Index of North Carolina Leading Economic Indicators for April.
“Barring unexpected negative events, the state economy is on track for a good year of growth in 2016.”
The overall index rose to nearly 100 – a level not seen since Spring 2014. Walden uses the index to forecast the state’s economic direction in coming months,
Each of the five components that make up the index rose.
North Carolina’s economy is improving alongside national improvement in manufacturing, which has been boosted by a weaker dollar, Walden noted.
He also pointed out the growth in the housing market and in wages as well as a drop in unemployment claims.
“Unless unexpected events occur, 2016 should be a good growth year for the North Carolina economy with increases in employment, wages, and production,” he added.
The index by category, with change from the previous month listed first; year-over-year second.
- INDEX: 3.4%, 5.8%
- ECRI-WLI*: 2.2%,1.1%
- Claims: -1.9%, -17.5%
- Permits: 43.6%, 9.3%
- Hours: 2.0%, -1.0%
- Earnings: 2.8%, 1.2%
The Index is composed of five components: the Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI)’s Weekly Leading Index. North Carolina initial claims for unemployment benefits, North Carolina building permits, average weekly hours of work of all North Carolina employees in manufacturing, and average weekly earnings of all North Carolina employees in manufacturing. All data are seasonally-adjusted and modified for differences in prices levels where appropriate.