Report: North Carolina economy closed 2015 out strong

NCSUINCLEI_Jan2016horizRALEIGH – The North Carolina economy saw an increase in growth as 2015 came to an end with the percentage of building permits rising and initial jobless claims falling, according to January’s NCSU Index of North Carolina Leading Economic Indications report.

The report studies the five components, which include initial claims for unemployment benefits, state building permits, average weekly hours of work of all North Carolina employees in manufacturing and average weekly earnings of all employees in North Carolina in manufacturing.

Michael Walden.

Michael Walden.

According to calculations made by Michael Walden, a professor and extension economist at North Carolina State University, the numbers of manufacturing hours declined from the previous year by 3.6 percent.

The amount of North Carolina building permits increased 13.1 percent from November. The amount of claims for unemployment benefits fell 11.2 percent from the previous month and 19.5 percent from 2014.

There are other indicators that the economy is improving, according to several findings by Forbes magazine. It ranked Raleigh second for best places for businesses and careers and the nation. Charlotte ranked 14th,, Wilmington ranked 35th and Greensboro ranked 40th.

Forbes magazine also reported the job growth ranks 17 in the U.S. in Raleigh and 22 in Charlotte.

Walden expects the economy to only improve into 2016.

“The trend in the index suggests the economic expansion in North Carolina will continue at least through the early part of 2016,” he stated in the report.