Local trends reflecting good economic growth

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, January 30, 2011

While local consumers may have held their purse strings a littletighter this past year when compared to the same period in 2009,their feelings about the local economy appear more positive than aNovember sales tax blip.

According to the most recent sales tax reports, on a year-to-datebasis Brookhaven is running ahead of the state average and leadingthe pack here in Southwest Mississippi against its peers.

With year-to-date tax diversions sitting at just under $2.5million, compared to last year our community has seen a 2.67percent increase, which is a little ahead of the state average of2.25 percent. Culling through the numbers further, our cumulativetotal comparison tops those of both McComb, at .14 percent, andNatchez, at 1.58 percent.

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While economic times continue to be troublesome, these figures showthat despites such concerns, area residents have a more positiveoutlook than 12 months ago. That attitude reflects recent reportsout of Washington that show the economy’s growth rate for theOctober – December quarter improving to an annual rate of 3.2percent.

For all of last year the national economy grew 2.9 percent – themost since 2005, according Commerce Department reports releasedFriday.

While all growth is good news, not so good news is that the fourthquarter growth is not fast enough to drive down unemployment. Itwill take continual steady growth at the national level to open upjobs.

So while national the news to positive, so too is it locally.