State’s Economic Growth Slow Through 1998 (225)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.– Tennessee’s economy continues to grow, but not as fast as the nation or the southeast, a University of Tennessee forecast says.

 Economists in the UT-Knoxville Center for Business and Economic Research, writing in the current issue of “Tennessee Business and Economic Outlook,” forecast continued slow growth through 1998.

 “Rather than leading the southeast and broader U.S. in economic growth, by many accounts the state is now a laggard,” the report says.

 Other projections included the following:

 — Non-agricultural job growth will advance 1.3 percent the remainder of the year and 1.8 percent in 1998.

 — The rate of job loss in manufacturing will slow from 1.4 percent this year to 1.1 percent in 1998.

 — Tennessee’s unemployment rate will average 5.1 percent (was 5 percent in April) through 1998, but an expected increase in the national unemployment rate should return Tennessee to its role as an employment leader relative to other states.

 — Personal income will experience “sluggish 4.6 percent growth in 1997, improving to 5.2 percent in 1998.”

 — Taxable sales are projected to climb 5.3 percent and 5.6 in 1997 and 1998, respectively.

 Dr. Matt Murray, a CBER economist, said several factors, including substantial job losses in non-durable goods manufacturing, contributed to the slowdown in Tennessee’s economic growth.

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 Contact: Dr. Matt Murray (423-974-5441)