Job growth in the manufacturing sector and an improving housing market are two key signs that Tennessee's economy is picking up steam, according to a report issued by the Tennessee Center for Business and Economic Research.
The report finds the state's economy resilient in the face of lower government and consumer spending.
"By and large, it’s a good news report," the study's lead author, economist Matt Murray, said. "It’s very welcome after many, many years of painful economic outcomes for our state economy.”
Murray noted jobs in the manufacturing sector grew for the second year in a row in 2012. In the first quarter of this year, manufacturing employment grew at twice the average national rate. Improvement in that sector is expected to continue into 2015. Personal income is also poised for growth this year and next.
Not all is rosy, however, as unemployment rates in general remain uncomfortably high. Murray says that trend will likely continue for a few more years. Some economic slowing is forecast for the third quarter of the year, with growth expected to pick up again as the state enters 2014.