The latest data and analysis from the Atlanta Fed's Regional Economic Information Network (REIN) point to improving economic conditions in a number of the Southeast's key industries.
Truck tonnage and port activity in the region gained speed in October, according to the report, with exports and imports passing through the ports of Miami, Savannah, and New Orleans achieving double-digit growth. Meanwhile, auto production—another driver of growth in recent months—continued its strong gains from last year's low levels. Vehicle production in the region increased 61 percent in October on a year-over-year basis, significantly faster than the nation's pace.
Recent data also highlighted improvements in consumer spending. October's improving retail sales were largely driven by higher sales of motor vehicles and parts. Sales of vehicles assembled in the region increased 31 percent from year-earlier levels. Further, retailers are more optimistic in their outlook and are expecting this year's holiday shopping season to outperform last year's. Tourism, another key industry for the region, is picking up thanks to a steady stream of international visitors. Contacts in the region's tourism industry also noted an increase in cruise bookings as well as bookings from key market segments such as group and business travelers.
For more data and analysis on these and other key sectors of the Southeastern economy, see the full REIN report.