Boyd Center Hosts First Economic Forecast Luncheon

Tennessee is in a good fiscal position and its economy is expected to continue to grow in 2017, according to UT’s Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research Director Bill Fox and Associate Director Matt Murray.

The pair addressed a crowd of nearly 200 business members last week at the center’s first economic forecasting luncheon.

Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research Director Bill Fox and Associate Director Matt Murray.

Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research Director Bill Fox and Associate Director Matt Murray.

According to Fox and Murray, Tennessee is among the top ten states in the nation in terms of economic momentum and one of the fastest in growth. A significant factor is that Tennesseans are spending aggressively and at a fast rate. Strong job growth and lower gas prices are putting more money consumer’s pockets.

The state has also consistently grown faster than national averages in job growth over the past several years, while its unemployment rate is now below the national rate. In 2009, Tennessee’s unemployment rate reached 11.1 percent, well above the nation’s average. This year, it is just above 4 percent. The nation’s average is just below 5 percent.

Fox and Murray also noted that Tennessee’s tax revenue growth is good. Sales taxes, in particular, are showing strong growth at nearly unprecedented levels.

“You can see the outlook going forward [is] generally positive growth in the national economy and the state economy—that is, barring some unforeseen shock,” Murray said. “We expect the economy to continue to grow.”

The Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research is housed in UT’s Haslam College of Business.

CONTACT:

Lydia McCoy (865-974-6086, lmccoy5@utk.edu)

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460, tyra.haag@tennessee.edu)