The regional economy increased for a seventh consecutive quarter and grew by 2 percent, according to data released Sunday by Armstrong Atlantic State University.
A big uptick in consumer confidence, and gains in retail sales, tourism and port activity helped support the regional economy, according to news release on AASU's Coastal Empire Economic Monitor.
The Economic Monitor shows the regional economy had vast growth in the third quarter, which should continue in the first half on 2014.
Tourism jumped in the third quarter by 11 percent from the third quarter of 2012. Hotel room sales increased 7.4 percent from the second quarter of 2013.
Among the Economic Monitor's key highlights: a 23-percent drop in seasonally adjusted initial jobless benefit claims and a 22-percent increase in the seasonally adjusted number of new residential homes permitted for construction.
"The underlying fundamentals of the economy have improved during the third quarter of 2013," said Michael Toma, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Economics and the Director of Armstrong's Center for Regional Analysis, in a statement. "There have been broadly based gains in tourism, port activity, retail sales and the housing market. Looking ahead, we expect to see accelerated growth for the first six months of 2014."
The Coastal Empire Economic Monitor is based on economic data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the city of Savannah, Georgia Power and data from Chatham, Bryan and Effingham counties.