CCU report forecasts positive outlook for Grand Strand economies in 2020


HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – Coastal Carolina University released its quarterly Waccamaw Regional Economic Report, and it shows a positive outlook for the Grand Strand economy heading into 2020.

The new year is here, and Dr. Robert Salvino at CCU says it could bring an increase in employment, and a continuation of 2019’s historically low unemployment rate to the Grand Strand.

“We have an extremely seasonal economy in the Grand Strand,” said Dr. Salvino. “The summer is our highest quarter.”

Right now, the Grand Strand is at the peak of the business cycle and employment is up significantly, about 4% for 2019 as a whole, according to Dr. Salvino.

“That number, for example, in the summer, that’s 153,000 jobs, full- and part-time jobs, compared to 140,000 last summer,” he said.

The prediction going into 2020 is that the employment numbers will be up about 6% in the winter, through February, from where they were during winter of 2019.

Dr. Salvino says there is one risk economists from all over the world are predicting, and it has to do with the 2020 presidential election.

“Regardless of who wins, whether it is a Republican or Democrat, there’s going to be significant changes in administration, and many economists, nationwide, globally, predict that that is enough to probably trigger the beginning of a recession,” he said.

Recession or not, Salvino says if any changes happen to the national economy, they could affect the Grand Strand’s economy as well.

“For example, even this weekend, with the conflict with Iran, you know, if, depending on what direction that might go or how much it might escalate, that’s a risk that the national economy stands to bear and we would follow that in the Grand Strand,” said Salvino.

The only factor they saw a decrease in was manufacturing, an industry unpopular on the Grand Strand.

You can find both a summary and a full version of the Waccamaw Regional Economic Report by clicking here.

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