The Savannah area economy in the fourth quarter of 2012 continued to grow, according to the Coastal Empire Economic Monitor from Armstrong Atlantic State University.
The growth was fueled by record
tourism coming into town. The index increased 2.2 percent in 2012.
Tourism tax revenue hit an all-time
high in the last quarter of 2012 with hotel and motel tax receipts totaling $1.3
million per month, that's up 11 percent from the third quarter and up 14.3
percent from the fourth quarter of 2011, according to Coastal Empire Economic
"The tourism industry was
responsible for much of the upward lift in the economy, otherwise boosting
modest gains and offsetting lackluster activity elsewhere," said Michael Toma,
director of the Center
for Regional Analysis and Armstrong's Fuller E. Callaway professorial chair,
in a statement. "This is further evidence that our regional economy enjoys an
enviable foundation in the form of a well diversified structure that affords
insulation against weakness in any given sector."
Another positive sign of economic
growth was employment. The December jobs figure hit 155,000, which was the highest
level of recorded employment in the last four years, even though hiring slowed
at the end of 2012, according to the index.
Effects from federal budget cuts
are not as drastic as they may seem because projected they amount to an
estimated 1 percent reduction in federal governmental spending, according to
the index data.
The Coastal Empire Economic Monitor
is a report of quarterly economic trends and short-term economic forecasts for
Savannah's Metropolitan Statistical Area from Armstrong's Center for Regional