Data Digest: Southeast Economy Improved Modestly in September

November 9, 2012

Image of southeast mapThe Southeast economy continued to improve modestly in September, according to the latest Data Digest. Produced monthly by the Atlanta Fed's Regional Economic Information Network (REIN), the report includes state-level data and analysis on the Southeast economy.

Job growth has been slow across much of the region, and most states had unemployment rates above the national rate of 7.8 percent in September. Only Louisiana, at 7 percent, reported a lower jobless rate. Meanwhile, the region's manufacturing activity, as measured by the Southeast Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), was in expansionary territory with a reading of 54.2 in September. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The region's real estate and construction contacts noted improving conditions in September, including declining inventories and increasing home prices. Residential brokers participating in the Atlanta Fed's monthly survey pointed to stronger sales compared to year-ago levels, while homebuilders described sales as "flat to slightly up." Both brokers and homebuilders reported having a positive outlook for year-over-year sales growth.

To learn more about key sectors in the Southeast economy, including the Atlanta Fed's D6 Factor, check out the full Data Digest.