Keeping an eye on the economy? Our experts can let you know where we stand and what we can expect for 2022December 14, 20212 min read
As the legendary political guru James Carville used to say, "It’s the economy, stupid." And these days with housing prices, inflation and the cost of living all pointing up in a very steep trajectory – the state of the economy is front and center for a lot of politicians, Americans and families as the year comes to a close.
There’s a lot to be considered, and that’s where experts like Augusta’s Dr. Simon Medcalfe are being sought out to explain economic trends what is behind them.
“U.S. retail sales are high,” explains Medcalfe “We had a lot of stimulus checks coming through the door and that’s really spurred extra spending and it’s across a whole range of retail sectors.”
According to Medcalfe, household items are also seeing double-digit price increases.
“What we’ve seen over the last 18 months during the pandemic, is a shift in our consumer preferences and consumer behavior.”
• Furniture sales are up 29%
• Used cars and cars in general are up 25-26%
• Gardening and building supplies are up 14%
• Electronics have seen an almost 30% increase
• Clothing sales are up a whopping 50%
But it’s not all good news - as the price of everything as we know is going up.
“Inflation is running about 6.8% nationally,” Medcalfe explains. “It’s running about 7.2% in the south and it’s certainly a concern of policymakers and economists.”
But theirs is sunshine behind those clouds as Medcalfe believes 2022 will see a return to normal.
“I think next year inflation will come down. I know it won’t be at these high levels, but I still think it’ll be above the Feds target level of inflation, so look for those interest rate increases next year.”
The economy and what to expect locally and nationally are hot topics – and if you are a reporter covering this topic – that’s where we can help.
Dr. Simon Medcalfe is a highly regarded economics expert and the Cree Walker Chair in the Hull College of Business at Augusta University. Medcalfe is available to speak with media regarding the economy and its outlook – simply click on his icon now to arrange an interview today.
Simon Medcalfe, PhD Professor
Dr. Simon Medcalfe is an economist with an emphasis on sports economics, social determinants of health, and the local economy.