The economy may be slowing - but remains strong according to Georgia Southern expert

The economy may be slowing - but remains strong according to Georgia Southern expert

July 15, 20222 min read

Georgia Southern’s Economic Monitor Q1 reports regional economy slows, retains strength

Georgia Southern University’s latest Economic Monitor, which reflects Q1 2022, reports that growth in the Savannah metro economy moderated during the opening quarter of the year.

“The broadest indicators of economic activity — overall regional employment and electricity sales to residential, industrial and commercial users — continue to signal strength,” stated Michael Toma, Ph.D., Georgia Southern’s Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Economics. “After good performance in the fourth quarter, there was a mild pull-back during the first quarter in tourism and port activity. In general, the regional economy maintained its forward momentum, but slowed its rate of acceleration.

Toma also noted that the Savannah metro economy will grow approximately 2% through the remainder of 2022, noticeably slower as compared to the rebound year of 2021. The economic future is somewhat murkier now as inflation surges, the Federal Reserve tightens, and global energy and commodities markets remain rocked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he said.

Overall Strength, but Some Sectoral Weakness

The business index for the Savannah metro economy increased 1.3% in the opening quarter of 2022, roughly half the pace of the previous quarter. The index of current economic activity increased to 207.3 from 204.7. The index was buoyed by solid employment growth of 1.6% during the quarter and electricity sales growth of 2.1%. Indicators of port activity, tourism and retail sales slowed during the quarter.

Metro Savannah employers added 3,100 jobs pushing total regional employment to 197,500 — more than 5,000 jobs and 3% higher than the pre-pandemic peak of 192,100 in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The Georgia Department of Labor recently completed its annual benchmarking process for employment in which the monthly payroll survey data is benchmarked against headcount data. Total employment data did not change significantly but business and professional industry services were revised downward while the information sector, including the film and entertainment industry, was revised upward substantially.

A full media release detailing key indicators such as Employment Trends, Housing Market, and that Slowing Regional Growth Expected is attached.

About the Indicators

The Economic Monitor provides a continuously updated quarterly snapshot of the Savannah Metropolitan Statistical Area economy, including Bryan, Chatham and Effingham counties in Georgia. The coincident index measures the current economic heartbeat of the region. The leading index is designed to provide a short-term forecast of the region’s economic activity in the upcoming six to nine months.

Looking to know more - then let us help.

The Economic Monitor is available by email and at the Center’s website. If you would like to receive the Monitor by email send a ‘subscribe’ message to For more information or to arrange an interview - simply reach out to Georgia Southern Director of Communications Jennifer Wise at to arrange an interview today.

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