Aug
21

Report: Grand Strand’s Fiscal Dive Nears End

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Some bad news evens out; rebound forecast for spring

August 21, 2008

By Jessica Foster – The Sun News

Almost all sectors of the Grand Strand economy are expected to continue lagging in 2008 compared to last year, but there are signs that the Strand is hitting bottom and will be ready for a turnaround in the spring, Coastal Carolina University research economist Don Schunk said Wednesday.

Retail sales, building permits, hotel occupancy rates and the number of airport passengers were all down year-over-year for the spring quarter (March through May), Schunk’s most recent data show.

Summer figures – which are not yet final – and fall figures will likely also be down from last year’s levels, but those numbers seem to be flattening out, Schunk said.

The forecast comes from Schunk’s quarterly report to the Grand Strand Economic Outlook Board, part of the Waccamaw Regional Council of Governments.

Home builders have slowed construction so they’re not adding as much to the excess of inventory on the market, and home prices are coming down, meaning the real estate market should soon pick up, Schunk said.

ARTICLE SHORTENED DUE TO LENGTH….


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