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UGA Economist "Steady Growth"
Friday, 08 March 2013

March 8--  A University of Georgia economist thinks Georgia is well positioned for steady economic growth.

"I see growth.  Not fast growth, about 2.1% growth here in Georgia and about 1.7% growth nationally assuming our lawmakers don't do something to derail the economy and they certainly could.

Image"The sequestor is not enough to push us into recession so I'm not too worried about that except for some of our military communites.  If I were living in Warner Robins or Columbus or Hinesville I'd be concerned, but on the whole the sequestor is not a big deal," says Jeff Humphreys, director of UGA's Selig Center for Economic Growth.

Humphreys told the Vidalia Kiwanis Club he's hopeful that housing will be a plus in the coming year.

"That's one of the reasons Georgia is going to start outperforming the national economy.  The housing bust is over and housing is now a tailwind for the economy and it's no longer a headwind.  That's a big plus for Georgia because a lot of our manufacturing is geared to housing like carpeting up in Dalton, the lumber industry across the state and windows and doors," he noted.

Humphreys also believes interest rates will remain generally the same.

"I'm going to believe 'the Fed' and assume they do what they say they're going to do to keep short term rates extremely low.  I think they'll stop their bond buying program late this year or early next year, so mortgages are probably past their low point, but I think will still remain attractive at least through 2015," he predicts.

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