North Carolina Economic Survey 1999
College of Business
Western Carolina University
This inaugural edition of the North Carolina Economic Survey examines and forecasts various indicators of economic performance most important to the nation and our state. The survey is organized in five sections dealing with various aspects of predicting regional or national economic performance: North Carolina Forecast; U.S. Aggregate Output; U.S. Aggregate Consumption, Saving, and Investment; Employment, Unemployment, and the Labor Market; and Business Indicators.
The first section presents two North Carolina Forecast articles forecasting North Carolina gross state product and unemployment for North and South Carolina.
The second section presents three articles forecasting U.S. Aggregate Output, which employ several competing approaches to predict GDP. A forecast of U.S. GDP is provided for as far into the future as 2010. With so many competing approaches and models, it is not surprising that at least one forecast predicts a recession in the near future.
The third section presents five articles forecasting U.S. Aggregate Consumption, Saving, and Investment. These articles predict consumption and investment from competing perspectives, but are fairly unanimous in providing a rosy overall outlook. The one cause for concern is a predicted continuing decline in U.S. personal saving.
The fourth section presents two articles on Employment, Unemployment, and the Labor Market. These articles predict national unemployment rates and inflation for the next two years.
The fifth section presents four articles forecasting various Business Indicators, including housing starts, real estate lending, consumer credit debt, and Japan's GDP and the dollar-yen exchange rate.
Generally, the forecasts which make up the North Carolina Economic Survey 1999 point to continued prosperity. Even the increase in consumer debt is symptomatic of consumer optimism. The prediction of an end to the recession in Japan is especially promising.
Cullowhee, North Carolina
May, 1999