Gas Prices Fuel Concern for Growth

Published March 17, 2012

In a March 13 Charlotte Business Journal article, UNC Charlotte economist John Connaughton shared some positive revisions to his economic growth projections for 2012 - now projecting 2 percent growth. This is slightly above his previous projections in December of a 1.1 percent gain.

Connaughton shared that 12 of our state's 15 economic sectors will likely see increases in output in 2012. The leading sectors for projected growth are business and professional services, up 3.8 percent; retail trade, up 3.7 percent; educational and health services, up 2.9 percent; finance, insurance and real estate up 2.7 percent.

Without question, job creation is a top national and statewide political hot button for coming elections. Connaughton believes North Carolina will see a net gain of 49,500 jobs, with retail, hospitality, education and health services sectors driving the bulk of these gains. This would represent a 1.3 percent increase in his December employment forecast of 38,000 new jobs for the state this year.

North Carolina's economy continues down a long and winding road to recovery, but Connaughton was quick to add that rising fuel costs could cause our economic engine to sputter.