October 28, 2016 Chelsea

Brett Ewing and Lance Mitchell Quoted in The Tallahassee Democrat

Index: Tallahassee spending stalls, business cautious

The Tallahassee Economic Index, which tracks the area’s economic growth, has released its August numbers, which show a bleak month of spending, but continued stability in the strength of the job market.

The Index fell 8.52 points from 56.69 in July to 51.17 in August.

“After another pullback in August, it is obvious the Tallahassee economy is experiencing the same slow, albeit stable growth that we are also witnessing on a national level,” said TEI founder Brett F. Ewing. “The index showed promising growth toward the beginning of the year, but with a recent backoff, is only up slightly for 2016. Although the election seems to have put everyone in a freeze pattern, employment remains strong and should lead to continued stability.”

Categories most closely associated with business spending were a “big drag” on the index, said Lance Mitchell, TEI’s director of research.

“It seems like every time we get a little momentum going in the local economy we quickly get brought back down to reality,” Mitchell said. “Solid and promising numbers in July were followed up with dismal August reporting… Store and office equipment, advertising, graphic arts, printing and publishing all had large drawdowns on both a month over month and year over year basis. The next few months will be especially important to get a gauge on whether we are stagnating or if we have indeed entered into an actual slowdown period.”

Some highlights from this month’s index:

  • Reemployment assistance initial claims fell 4.5 percent month over month and 13.33 percent year over year.
  • The single family home median sales price fell 8.37 percent month over month and 7.08 percent year over year.
  • Building permits grew 27.27 percent from July to August.
  • Realtor sales were down 9.29 percent from last month but are up 9.3 percent year over year.
  • Airport passengers increased 4.77 percent month over month and 7.31 percent year over year.

The TEI is developed by First Franklin Financial Services, a local financial services company.