The Board of Economic Advisers said during their monthly meeting Wednesday that they currently have no change in the state’s revenue projections. Chairman John Rainey says now the state’s economy is just “bouncing on the bottom” this year, but at least is not going down any more.
As far as the next year is concerned, some economists expect a turnaround. South Carolina now subscribes to a data service from the financial forecasters at Moody’s Investment Services, which predict an increase in the state’s revenues over the next two years of almost 15 percent. Rainey’s group has not dared a prediction that far in advance, but he says he would be surprised if their growth estimate is that high.
Rainey says the recessions of 1982 and 2002 were followed immediately by more than nine percent growth, but he says the current recession has changed the structure of the economy considerably. Moody’s was basing it optimism on stricter bank regulation and lending requirements, and increases in population and manufacturing.
Moody’s estimate gives South Carolina more than $831 million in revenue within two years.
Rainey says it’s unlikely that this recession will end with the same job growth which characterized the end of ones in 1982 and 2002. He says a growth in technology will likely mean that there will be fewer jobs to be had as the recession ends.
(Rainey on recession Mp3 1:40)Listen to Rainey here
There were 126,000 textile jobs in South Carolina in 1994. Now there are 21,000.
Economists with the Board of Economic Advisers estimate that there are currently almost half a million people unemployed in South Carolina.