Modest Gains in Southeast Economy

August 15, 2013

jobsThe Southeast economy continued to expand at a modest pace in June, according to the Atlanta Fed's latest Data Digest. However, as has been the case throughout the recovery, the pace of growth lagged the U.S. economy.

The monthly report also highlighted steady improvements in southeastern labor markets. Job gains have been uneven across the region, with Alabama, Florida, and Louisiana reporting jobless rates below the U.S. rate of 7.6 percent in June. One thing that was fairly consistent, however, was continued weakness in the government sector. Meanwhile, the leisure and hospitality and business services sectors have led job gains in several states.

The region's housing market continued to heal in the first quarter of the year. Although, similar to the labor market recovery, gains in home prices have been uneven across the region. For instance, house prices declined in Alabama and Mississippi but grew a relatively robust 4 percent from year-ago levels in Florida, the report noted. Meanwhile, home prices in Louisiana rose 1.5 percent, and gains in Tennessee and Georgia were a more tepid 0.4 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively. The Atlanta Fed's monthly real estate poll also indicated continued improvements. Residential builders and brokers reported that sales and buyer traffic were ahead of year-ago levels.

For more data and analysis on the southeastern economy, including updates on manufacturing activity and consumer spending, see the latest edition of Data Digest.