South Carolina is enjoying the same economic growth seen nationally and globally in 2017.
In January, the Dow Jones Industrial Average topped 20,000 for the first time in history. And the upward trend in international markets are starting to trickle down to South Carolina, according to University of South Carolina Economics Professor William Hauk.
“A state like South Carolina that exports to China and Europe and so forth, they’re benefitting from seeing higher growth rates around the globe because that gives people overseas more money to potentially buy some of the products we export,” he said.
Hauk said South Carolina’s appeal to international companies is twofold: its workforce and its ports.
“South Carolina has a pretty strong labor force in terms of relatively low wages and a workforce that’s ready to work,” he said. “We’ve been seeing very low unemployment rates here at the statewide level so the South Carolina economy is humming along pretty steadily.”
Hauk said the national economy started recovering in the spring of 2009 and has increased steadily since then. Some of the growth can be attributed to low interest rates. Companies can divert more money into stocks when interest rates are low. He said low interest rates tend to be good for corporate profits and makes it easy for companies to raise capital and expand operations.
He said some of the growth has been from companies anticipating policies the Trump Administration promised to pass, including regulatory relief and lower corporate tax rates included in the proposed tax reform package.
“I think they’re hoping for a more generally business-friendly climate, which I think has pushed stock levels up a little bit, too, in the last year,” he said.
In one year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has grown from 18,867 to 23,479. Five years ago the Dow was 12,588.