May 10, 2012
The Southeast economy continued its trend of modest improvements in March, according to the most recent release of the Atlanta Fed's Data Digest. The monthly report highlighted steady gains in economic activity, while noting that much of the region is recovering at a slower pace than the U.S. overall.
Labor market conditions improved in March, but according to the report, half of the southeastern states continued to experience unemployment rates above the national average of 8.2 percent. Sales tax revenues, which grew on a year-over-year basis in most of the southeastern states, were another bright spot.
Meanwhile, manufacturing activity slowed in March, according to the Southeastern Purchasing Managers Index (PMI). The regional reading dipped to 61 and several southeastern states saw their components fall below that figure. However, despite the decline, the region stayed in expanding territory (indicated by a reading of 50 or higher).
To learn more about the region's economic performance in March, be sure to read the full Data Digest. The monthly report provides a state-by-state overview of economic activity in the region, including data and analysis of key sectors of the southeastern economy.