Wilmington metro area not in a recession, at least not yet
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The country may be in a recession but economists say our area is not, as of now. A Wilmington economist told business leaders over breakfast that our area is still growing. As business professionals and area leaders had breakfast Thursday, economists served up their numbers. The good news is that according to UNC-Wilmington Senior Economist Woody Hall, our area is doing relatively well despite the worst national economy since the early 1980s. Hall said, “There are still some components of local economy that are still growing but they are growing less dramatically and not as rapidly as they were in the past there are some sectors of our economy that are seeing decreases.” Hall noted traffic through Wilmington International Airport is up, but not growing as fast as it used to. Traffic increased 5% in 2008. Compare that nationally to an 8.4% drop from September 2008 to September 2007. Our area’s tourism numbers are up too, increasing three percent from 2007. As for the real estate sector, Hall said in the third quarter of 2008, 400 homes were sold monthly in the Wilmington area. During the same period in 2005, 900 homes were sold monthly when the market was super hot. So we've seen a 55% decrease in sales volume over three years, compared to a 29% decrease in sales volume nationally over the same time period. Auto dealerships in New Hanover County sold about 10,000 new cars and trucks this year which is down from 17,000 cars sold last year. That's a 42% drop, compared to the 18% drop dealers saw nationwide. Retail sales continue a downward trend. From August 2007 to August 2008, sales were down 6.6% in New Hanover County, 1.9% in Brunswick County, and 3.9% in Pender. Area unemployment is at it's highest in years. The Wilmington metro area, New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender counties averaged out at 7.6% in November. Nationwide, the number is at 6.5%. Even so, hall is optimistic. He told the crowd things should improve later this year. “Trust me it will stabilize. The question is when and we will eventually resume growth?” Hall said Wilmington and surrounding areas are not in a recession yet. Our area is still seeing growth. Economists predict the nation’s economy could improve towards the latter part of the year Nationally, retailers are reporting dismal sales for December, confirming fears that the holiday shopping season was the weakest in 40 years.

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Yes...it's a real mess getting out of this JAM Mr. Bush put us into, isn't it???? All these remarks mocking Obama making it sound like defenders of Bush...and it really is. Go ahead and defend the idiot and his 8 year term. Remember how he fooled the American people and robbed us dry in our economy...or is that forgotten? Face it...Bush was and is an idiot and we were idiots for not getting him impeached after the most famous attraction..."Weapons of Mass Destruction". Remember how his cabinet members starting dropping out one by one. These people were smart enough to not be the fall guys for this so called leader. What a joke!! Reminds me of the story "The Emperor's Clothes"
I can only stand so much ignorance. You have really generalized a very complicated situation, and blame one man for something that the international community as a whole has gotten us into. There were alot of transgressions that lead us to the economic state we are currently in: You can blame the mortgage brokers for padding substandard applications, the securities traders for passing on toxic mortgage debt to bond buyers, the senate finance commitee (Barney Frank specifically) for allowing ANYONE to get a mortgage with 110-120% of the value of the home, and most of all the average American. Blame them all for greed. How many people defaulted on home loans they could not afford, and have destroyed the housing market with foreclosures? How many people are swimming in credit card debt to buy that second flat screen TV, or the PS3 for their 7 year old? News flash: most people's credit scores SUCK!!! There is not so much a drying up of credit as a drying up of qualified creditors! Hence, a collapse of the auto industry (no one qualified to buy cars), a collapse of retail, financial, and manufacturing. This leads to layoffs, unemployment, and increased taxes to take care of the unemployed and their children. Health care costs go up, as does insurance, since only half of the people pay (actually, it's closer to 40%), futher ruining the credit of those who can't pay. Federal, State, and City goverments are taking in less sales and use taxes, less property taxes, and less tourism revenue - which leads to higher taxes. Can you even write out $2 trillion with all the zeroes? George Bush made some errors - "weapons of mass destruction" being one of them, but this economic crisis has nothing to do with that. "Remember how he fooled the American people and robbed us dry in our economy...or is that forgotten?" That statement was spoon fed to you by liberal media - you swallowed it and now it's coming out of your #@$.
Care to give us an example or two of how Bush created the current economic downturn? Since the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 (commonly called the Bush tax cuts) the poor pay the lowest percentage of taxes EVER, and the wealthy pay the highest percentage of taxes EVER. For 2007, the upper 50% of wage earners paid 97.1% of all personal income taxes. We had seven years of stellar economic growth even though he inherited a recession (as Obama will) and we had to overcome the terrorist attack of 9/11/01. Most of the building blocks in our housing/mortgage "house of cards" were in place long before Bush was president: The Community Redevelopment Act of '77 and ridiculous organizations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, just to name a couple of the biggies. You can say anything you want to about his military incompetence, but when you start attacking his economic policies, "thou know not of which thou speaketh." Start studying an Economics textbook, stop listening to MoveOn.org and Michael Moore.
Have you looked around? All it takes, is being observant ....shopping at Christmas time was actually "spooky", since the store should have been hustling and bustling..it was deathly quiet. We never know when we go out to eat, if the restaurant's doors will be open when we get there..we've already had so many of them to close. Buildings are becoming empty...let's see...that means the businesses that were in them are no longer there. In case our officials have not been out lately....take a drive..look around is all you have to do. To say that our area is NOT in a recession while the rest of the country is..is either a joke or our officials need to get their head out of the sand. Interested Citizen
Great points all around Interested Citizen . Is why I can't wait until retirement...to leave here instead of flock here as so many do. We are always immune from the rest of the world and its troubles here in Wilmington...or so they'll have you believe...and all is hunky doory. Someone pinch me...are they so ignorant to think the whole lock stock and barrel here believes that? Concerned citizens have one heck of a time getting city council to even give their spokesperson 5 minutes time at council meetings on current problems in their community...much less ever agree with citizens, particularly when it involves real estate take overs. Our Council is a joke...will remain a joke until the end of time...and most certainly way past this recession that is "Here in Wilmington" now! We pay more for home owners insurance/auto insurance/gas prices then most of NC, and we are OK from the recession?? Yeah...right. Love these false profits of assurance that fill locals with false hope...if the people choose to be. DOT gets 1.5 million dollars for stop light restructuring that will last until 2011. Last year they wanted 5 mill to do the job. Big difference...bigger lie I suppose...and all at the tax payers expense. Make notes today so when tomorrows request are completely different with our council picking our pockets, then maybe that rusty rail will come into play to ride them out of town on.
Your ignorance abounds itself both with your use of grammar, poor spelling an total lack of sensible knowledge concerning government and politics. You don't even understand the economics of your own Cape Fear Region and how it so greatly differs from adjacent regions. As far as I'm concerned, the quicker we can get ignorant souls such as yourself out of this region and into one that is more applicable to your intelligence, the better off and more prosperous we will be here. People like yourself unknowingly drag good things to the trash heap. We just don't need your negative reinforcement based soley on your uninformed and false information regarding local and national government/politics. So, please do us all a favor and don't wait until you retire to move. Do it now and save yourself the frustration of living in an area you despise. We will not miss you!
Sounds to me like you spend A LOT of time in denial Guest 461. Not only do you not have a realistic picture, you seem intent on perpetrating the Obama delusion.
The media wants a recession so bad they can't stand it. How else will they make the messiah look good. He is going to save us from the evil Bush tax cuts and raise our taxes. If Obama's plan to "tax the rich" is supposed to be good for the country, why has he decided to not do it when he takes office? Everything he wants to do is supposed to be "good for the country", right? If raising taxes are good for us, then triple them. Then it will be three times better, right?
A ONE TRILLION DOLLAR ECONOMIC PLAN...LOL... CHANGE...YUP...that's whats going to be left of my paycheck...CHANGE..at least he didn't lie!