October REIN Report: Consumer Spending, Labor Markets Show Improvement

The Southeastern economy made mixed progress in September, according to the most recent data and analysis from the Atlanta Fed's Regional Economic Information Network (REIN).

Similar to previous months, consumer spending continued to improve from last year's levels. Retail sales gained speed in September, driven by increases at motor vehicle and parts dealers, electronics and appliance stores, and building materials, garden equipment, and supply dealers. Meanwhile, sales tax revenues in the Southeast were up 2.9 percent from a year earlier, the report said.

Tourism activity in the region was an especially bright spot in the Southeast economy. Passenger traffic through the region's airports picked up, with those in Miami, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale experiencing notable increases in international travelers. In addition, industry contacts were optimistic about the tourism outlook.

Labor markets, while still weak, improved from last year on a regional and national level. Mississippi and Tennessee added jobs in September for the second consecutive month while Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee reported unemployment levels below the national average.

For more data, analysis, and graphs on these and other important sectors of the Southeastern economy, read the full REIN report.