Business
5:57 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

UGA Economic Outlook: Ga Recovery Will Slightly Outpace Natl. Average

Looking out a year from now, Georgia’s GDP growth will have risen by 2.1%, slightly outpacing the national average.

That’s according to the University of Georgia’s 2013 Economic Outlook, released Thursday at a luncheon in Atlanta.

Terry College of Business Dean Robert Sumichrast says a restructuring of the state's private sector, coupled with new industry coming to Georgia, will help spur economic growth in 2013.
Credit University of Georgia

Georgia's recovery looks good for a few reasons.

“There was a tremendous amount of restructuring that needed to go on in our private sector.  And that’s complete,” says UGA Terry College of Business Dean Robert Sumichrast.  

He says another bright spot is housing, with all indicators showing the worst of the housing crisis is behind us.

Add in changes to state tax law, and Sumichrast says industry now finds Georgia more attractive than in the past. 

That’s something Gov. Nathan Deal touted in his address to luncheon attendees.

“We passed major tax reform that will, over a four year period, eliminate the sales tax on energy used for manufacturing,” says Deal.  

He says overall smaller government and a new “deal closing fund” to attract big industry represent positive steps.

To stay ahead, however, the UGA report warns Georgia must beef up its K-12 education system, as well as create a higher education system that provides companies with appropriately-skilled employees. 

And going over the so-called "fiscal cliff" -- automatic, across-the-board government cuts-- could send Georgia back in to recession, the report says.

Economists predict the state now faces a 30% chance of falling back into recession, compared to 45% in 2012.