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2014 - 2015


Table of Contents

1

• Introduction

2

• Forecast Recap

3

• Consumer Price Index

5

• Cost of Living Index

6

• Interest Rates

7

• Labor and Employment

9

• Retail Trade

10

• Real Estate

11

• Transportation (Port)

13

• Transportation (Airport)

14

• Visitor Industry

15

• Methodology

17

• Economic Outlook Board

18


Introduction

The 2014 Economic Outlook Conference marks the 23rd annual conference and forecast for the Charleston region and is a partnership project between the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Business Research and the College of Charleston’s School of Business and Economics. During the past two decades, the economy of the region has undergone a significant shift from a military/defense-dependent economy to one now more diversified and anchored around the activities of the Port of Charleston, multi-billion dollar visitor industry, healthcare industry, growing manufacturing sector and military. The region’s quality of life, history and culture also continue to attract new residents of all ages, helping to fuel the real estate and development industry. The forecast is based upon historical data tracked and collected by the Chamber’s Center for Business Research. Data on each of the key economic indicators that drive the region’s economy are collected and provided to the College of Charleston, Office of Economic Analysis and is reviewed by Dr. Frank Hefner. Using an econometric forecasting model, a projection for each indicator is developed. The model also forecasts national indicators. The key to the success of the forecasting project is the Economic Outlook Board. The collective insight of the Board provides information that may not be captured in a statistical analysis of the data. Furthermore, the data is often reported in a lag. The Economic Outlook Board reviews the statistical forecast and adds “real-time, real-knowledge” insight into the actual performance of the local economy. Each member of the Board represents a different sector of the economy and, both individually and collectively, their expertise and knowledge are invaluable. Because of the Board’s first-hand knowledge of changes occurring in the economy, the results are a more useful and timely forecast for the business community.

2


Forecast Recap Fueled by the growth of Boeing, expanding traffic through the Port, the burgeoning IT sector, increased national and international accolades for the tourism industry and a resurgence in the residential real estate industry, the region’s economy performed at higher levels in 2013. Visitor Industry

Energy

Port

Aerospace

In November, the region was named by Conde Nast as the top visitor destination in the nation for the third year in a row. Charleston’s tourism industry continues to grow and expand, as evidenced by growth in the number of hotels under construction in downtown Charleston, Mt. Pleasant and North Charleston. The region’s reputation in the culinary world also helped to fuel the growth of business in the region with an estimated 50 new restaurants opening in 2013.

Vice President Joe Biden visited Charleston’s Port in the spring of 2013, bringing with him the news that Administration would include funding for Charleston’s Post-45 Harbor Deepening project to stay on track. The Ports Authority also opened a new inland port in Greer, South Carolina to support the growth and shipments of BMW and others. TEU traffic grew by six percent in 2013 and with the opening of the Panama Canal expansion in early 2015, Charleston’s Ports are expected to continue to grow over the next decade.

3

Clemson’s Energy Innovation Center opened in the fall of 2013, which houses the world’s most advanced wind turbine drivetrain testing facility and is expected to drive job growth and investment across the state in the next few years. The Center is designed to accelerate the development and deployment of wind turbine technology for the nation. Both SCE&G and Duke Energy were announced as major partners in the facility at the dedication ceremony.

Boeing announced an additional $1 billion investment in South Carolina in 2013 and purchased 500+ acres of property at Charleston International Airport and adjacent to the airport with an option for more. The company announced it would open an IT Center for Excellence, Engineering Design Center and a new Propulsion Center that includes work for the 737 Max – the first work for Charleston outside of the 787 aircraft. Boeing South Carolina will be assembling three 787s per month by mid-2014. They will also manufacture ten aft- and ten midbody sections at the North Charleston campus by mid-2014 in order to produce ten 787s per month between the Everett and South Carolina campuses.


Real Estate and Home Construction

Labor and Employment

Information Technology

Infrastructure

The two announcements help to illustrate the growth of the region’s high tech computer/IT sector, which has been dubbed “Silicon Harbor”. The growth of this industry illuminated the need for expanded higher education offerings in the region, particularly in the computer technology/IT area. Last year, the region awarded some 60 degrees in this field and graduates entertained an average of five or more job offers each.

The region’s economy will continue to expand in 2014 and 2015 as the region continues to gain recognition as a globally competitive economy. The challenge now is to address opportunities in areas such as education and infrastructure in order to sustain the economic growth that’s ahead.

The region’s residential real estate market roared back to life in 2013 with both home sales and building of new construction. By year’s end, the building industry was scrambling to fill job openings with skilled construction workers. New developments from Summerville to West Ashley to Mt. Pleasant saw rapid building construction activity and many in the industry were searching for available land for future growth. It is predicted that building activity in the region will pick up throughout 2014 and then surge in 2015 and continue for the next several years.

In late 2013, Benefitfocus, the Daniel Island-based tech firm which provides cloud-based software for employee benefits, announced plans to create 1,200 jobs and triple the size of its current Berkeley County headquarters campus from 13 acres to 40. The announcement came at the end of the year, which started with the announcement by Google for a $600 million expansion of its Berkeley County campus.

With several hundred jobs demanding IT/computer technology skills opening in the region, the demand to expand the four year and graduate degrees in this field prompted the formation of a team from the Chamber, MUSC, the College of Charleston and City of Charleston to discuss how to fill the higher education gap. In January 2014, SC Representatives Jim Merrill and Leon Stavrinakis introduced legislation to merge the two institutions. While there is opposition, the region must find a solution to address this higher education gap if it is to remain globally competitive.

The growth and expansion across the region also fueled anti-growth voices on projects from a multi-family complex on Maybank Highway to the Cainhoy Plantation project and everything in between. With the region’s population projected to reach one million over the next 15 years, this growth necessitates innovative solutions to funding much needed infrastructure. The completion of I-526 continued to inch forward in 2013 and is one of 18 total infrastructure priorities identified by the Chamber that are needed to accommodate future growth and economic development of the region.


Consumer Price Index The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the inflation of a typical basket of goods bought by the average household. The CPI is based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, fuels, transportation fares, medical services, drugs and other goods and services that people buy for daily living. The CPI can be very volatile on a month-to-month basis since unusually large changes in one good can cause large changes in the overall index. The CPI is split into two commonly used measurements. The first is the headline CPI which includes all goods while the second is the core CPI which excludes food and energy goods from the basket. Core inflation excludes fuel and food because of their price volatility. While inflation rates, as measured by the CPI, are expected to be moderate, there is evidence to suggest that the rates may increase over the next two years. Increasingly global firms are under pressure to increase profit margins, which often means incremental price changes. The forecast is for slightly lower Core inflation relative to Headline inflation. Inflation is expected to increase slightly in both 2014 and 2015 as the economy continues to expand. Federal Reserve policy is expected to keep inflation rates low for the next two years.

Consumer Price Index (all urban consumers) Year

CPI (with food and energy) Core CPI (no food or energy) Annual Inflation Rate Annual Inflation Rate

2005

3.75%

2.14%

2006

2.00%

2.70%

2007

4.00%

2.30%

2008

1.60%

2.00%

2009

1.50%

1.70%

2010

1.20%

0.60%

2011

3.30%

2.20%

2012

1.90%

1.90%

2013

1.20%

1.70%

2014 (f)

2.30%

2.10%

2015 (f)

3.20%

2.70%

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (f) forecast

The ACCRA Cost of Living Index Comparison of Select Metro Areas Selected Metro Area Austin, TX Charleston, SC Area Charlotte, NC Everett, WA

All Items Index 93.2 100.2 95.7 111.0

Greenville, SC

93.2

Jacksonville, FL

95.3

Knoxville, TN

88.8

Lexington, KY

89.7

New York (Manhattan) Raleigh, NC

220.4 93.6

Richmond, VA

101.7

San Diego, CA

130.0

Savannah, GA

92.9

Washington, DC

140.1 Source: ACCRA Cost of Living Index, 2013 Annual Report

5


ACCRA Cost of Living Index The ACCRA Cost of Living Index Charleston Metro Area Components

Index

Grocery Items

105.1

Housing

89.4

Utilities

113.6

Transportation

The Center for Business Research is an active participant in the ACCRA Cost of Living survey. The survey is not a measure of inflation, but rather a comparison of the relative cost of living of professional / executive households among various US metropolitan areas and cities. The survey is based on 57 specific items which are collected three times per year. Additionally, an annual index produced in the fourth quarter of each year utilizies the data collected in the previous three surveys.

96.0

Health Care

103.2

Miscellaneous Goods and Services

103.8

All Items (Composite)

100.2 Source: ACCRA Cost of Living Index, 2013 Annual Report

Austin, TX Charleston, SC Charlotte, NC Everett, WA Greenville, SC Jacksonville, FL Knoxville, TN Lexington, KY New York (Manhattan) Raleigh, NC Richmond VA San Diego, CA Savannah, GA Washington, DC 0

50

100

150

200

250

Source: ACCRA Cost of Living Index, 2013 Annual Report

6


Interest Rates Although growth remains modest and inflation low, interest rates are very low on many “safe� instruments such as short-term Treasury bills and notes. Therefore, investors have sought higher yields in corporate bonds and emerging market instruments. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield likely will rise in 2014 as the Fed takes the first steps toward a more traditional policy environment. With the Fed leaving short-term rates alone, a steeper yield curve is expected, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury security breaking the 3 percent barrier. Finally, pretax profits likely will continue to record modest growth of five to six percent. These profit gains will support improvement in employment and business investment in the domestic economy. Source: W  ells Fargo Securities Economic Group, 2014 Economic Outlook

Loan Rates Year

Mortgage Rate

Prime Rate

2005

5.87%

6.19%

2006

6.41%

7.96%

2007

6.34%

8.05%

2008

6.04%

5.09%

2009

5.04%

3.25%

2010

4.69%

3.25%

2011

4.46%

3.25%

2012

3.66%

3.25%

2013

3.98%

3.28%

2014 (f)

4.15%

3.25%

2015 (f)

3.96%

3.63% Source: Federal Reserve (f) forecast

Investment Interest Rate Year

T-Bill

T-Bond

2005

3.15%

4.29%

2006

4.73%

4.79%

2007

4.35%

4.63%

2008

1.37%

3.67%

2009

0.15%

3.26%

2010

0.14%

3.21%

2011

0.05%

2.79%

2012

0.09%

1.80%

2013

0.06%

2.35%

2014 (f)

0.19%

3.17%

2015 (f)

1.08%

3.61%

Source: Federal Reserve (f) forecast

7


Mortgage Rate Prime Rate

Loan Investment Rates 7.00% 6.00% 5.00% 4.00% 3.00% 2.00% 1.00% 0.00% 2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014 (f)

2015 (f)

Source: Federal Reserve (f) forecast

T-Bill T-Bond

Investment Interest Rate 4.00% 3.50% 3.00% 2.50% 2.00% 1.50% 1.00% 0.50% 0.00% 2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014 (f)

2015 (f)

Source: Federal Reserve (f) forecast


Labor and Employment The region’s labor market expanded in 2013, with total employment growing by just under one percent. Net employment grew by 2,000 jobs in the region and unemployment dropped from 7.5 percent in 2012 to 6.4 percent in 2013. By comparison, unemployment for the U.S. was 7.4 percent and South Carolina was 7.9 percent. The largest job gains were in the construction sector (+2.9%), trade, transportation and utilities (+2.6) and government (+2.4%). The professional and business services sector saw a decline, falling by 3.7 percent for the year. For the Charleston region, job gains are expected in both 2014 and 2015. The civilian labor force is expected to remain flat for the next two years as a result of a lower number of people seeking work, not from lack of actual population gain. As the economy strengthens, some of those in the labor force stop looking for work, while others leave because unemployment benefits expire. The result is that unemployment will continue to decline, falling to 4.7 percent by the end of 2015.

Unemployment Rate - Charleston Region 10.0 9.0 8.0 7.0 6.0 5.0 4.0 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0 2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013 2014 (f)

2015 (f)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (f) forecast

Employment by Sector Charleston Region (000) 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Mining, Logging, Construction

19.0

15.4

14.2

13.9

13.6

14.0

Manufacturing

22.8

20.9

20.7

22.3

23.6

23.9

Trade, Transportation and Utilities

57.6

53.3

53.5

55.1

56.8

58.3

Information

5.6

5.3

5.0

4.9

4.9

5.0

Financial Activity

14.2

13.1

12.8

13.3

14.0

14.3

Professional and Business Services

43.1

40.3

41.8

44.3

45.4

43.7

Education and Healthcare

32.4

32.9

33.7

34.8

34.6

34.9

Leisure and Hospitality

37.2

35.6

35.4

36.6

38.2

38.7

Other Services

11.4

10.9

10.5

11.0

12.5

12.9

Government

57.9

57.7

59.1

60.0

61.5

63.0

Total

301.0

285.3

286.7

296.0

305.1

308.7

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (f) forecast

9


Retail Trade Total retail trade in the region increased five percent in 2013, the result of growth in the region’s housing market and strong visitor industry. The forecast for 2014 and 2015 is for modest growth both years, with total retail sales increasing four percent each year – just above the national forecast.

Gross Retail Sales ($000) $25,000,000

The most talked about change in the region’s retail landscape in 2013 was Piggly Wiggly’s sale of a dozen of its local grocery stores to Harris Teeter and Bi-Lo. Other changes in the retail market included Kmart closing its Mt. Pleasant store and the announcement in early 2014 that it will also close its West Ashley location on Highway 17.

$20,000,000

$15,000,000

$10,000,000

Bass Pro Shops announced in 2013 that it will build a new 150,000 square foot store in North Charleston. The store is expected to be constructed in 2014 as part of a new retail complex in Ingleside Plantation.

$5,000,000

$0

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 (f) 2015 (f) Source: S.C. Department of Revenue (f) forecast

Gross Retail Sales by Region ($000) Year

Berkeley

Charleston

Dorchester

Total Region

% Change From Previous Year

2005

$2,774,618

$12,050,201

$1,571,065

$16,395,884

9.3%

2006

$3,338,564

$13,085,582

$1,709,947

$18,134,093

10.6%

2007

$3,717,883

$13,088,854

$1,783,614

$18,590,351

2.5%

2008

$3,999,639

$12,963,950

$1,773,190

$18,736,779

0.8%

2009

$3,617,756

$11,173,603

$1,483,891

$16,275,250

-13.1%

2010

$4,263,732

$12,802,234

$1,789,304

$18,855,264

15.9%

2011

$5,380,665

$13,077,151

$1,923,379

$20,381,195

8.1%

2012

$5,444,764

$13,026,323

$1,836,212

$20,307,299

-0.4%

2013

$5,530,448

$13,875,886

$1,910,453

$21,316,787

5.0%

2014 (f)

$5,825,477

$14,351,094

$1,950,254

$22,126,825

3.8%

2015 (f)

$6,178,179

$14,788,823

$2,000,642

$22,967,644

3.8%

Source: S.C. Department of Revenue (f) forecast

10


Real Estate The region’s residential real estate market came roaring back to life in 2013, with builders describing the market as active as pre-recession levels by the end of the year. Total single family permits increased 15 percent compared to 2012. Multi family declined, following a surge in permits the previous year. The number of residential home sales in 2013 soared 21 percent above the previous year, with the average sales price increasing by eight percent. The commercial and industrial markets also strengthened in 2013. Vacancy rates in the office, retail and industrial markets are in the single digits in all three sectors. Industry experts predict the market will have to see new building activity in 2014 and 2015 to accommodate new business growth in the region. The forecast for the residential building market is for the single family market to continue to grow in each of the next two years. Experts predict the market will see modest growth in 2014 and then surge forward in 2015. This trend is due to a number of projects going through the approval process with local governments in the next few months before permits can be issued. Residential housing sales are also expected to continue to grow. The forecast is for a 10 percent increase in the number of sales in 2014 and another four percent the following year. The average sales price is predicted to be relatively flat for the next two years primarily because of the price recovery that has already taken place in the market.

Average Sales Price of Residential Units $310,000 $300,000 $290,000 $280,000 $270,000 $260,000 $250,000 $240,000 $230,000 $220,000 $0 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

2013 2014 (f) 2015 (f)

Source: Charleston Trident Association of Realtors (f) forecast

Residential Home Sales Year

Sold

Average Sales Price

Median Sales Price

2005

15740

$246,362

$190,199

2006

14,240

$263,895

$206,705

2007

11,530

$277,067

$209,742

2008

7,907

$299,721

$201,777

2009

8,702

$252,880

$179,148

2010

8,765

$265,987

$187,560

2011

9,239

$251,323

$182,519

2012

10,521

$261,044

$190,372

2013

12,741

$281,714

$207,995

2014 (f)

14,015

$281,596

$203,105

2015 (f)

14,576

$286,237

$199,275

Source: Charleston Trident Association of Realtors (f) forecast

11


New Building Permit Activity 2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014 (f)

2015 (f)

Single Family

8,021

7,305

5,575

3,666

2,902

2,780

2,640

3,128

3,779

3,779

4,325

Multi Family

2,451

1,876

1,178

1,281

220

278

1,250

1,604

1,638

1,638

1,438

Total Residential

10,472

9,181

6,753

4,947

3,122

3,058

3,890

4,732

5,417

5,417

5,763

1,704,118

1,595,052

1,258,011

833,538

603,357

606,191

669,210

869,075

1,046,585

1,088,448

1,131,986

# New Permits

Value of Permits ($000) Total Residential

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census (f) forecast

Total Residential Permits

Total Residential Value ($000)

7,000

$1,200,000

6,000

$1,000,000

5,000

$800,000

4,000 $600,000 3,000 $400,000

2,000

$200,000

1,000

$0

0

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013 2014 (f)

2015 (f)

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census (f) forecast

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

2013 2014 (f) 2015 (f)

Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census (f) forecast


Transportation (Port) Charleston’s Ports volume increased across all business segments in 2013, a year marked by the successful opening of the Inland Port and significant progress of both the construction of the Navy Base container terminal and the Post-45 Harbor Deepening project. In calendar year-end results, container volumes, measured in 20-foot equivalent units, were up 5.7 percent from 2012 to 2013, with over 1.6 million TEUs handled during the year. Breakbulk cargo also grew during the period, increasing 3.3 percent over 2012 volumes. The forecast calls for container volumes to increase in each of the next two years, as the Port of Charleston continues to expand and attract new business. The opening of the Panama Canal expansion in late 2014/2015 is also expected to be a boost for Charleston. Charleston’s current position of being able to accommodate the larger post-Panamax ships should help increase volumes, especially as the Post-45 Harbor Deepening project continues to move forward.

Port of Charleston Activity

TEUs*

$2,000,000 $1,800,000 $1,600,000 $1,400,000 $1,200,000 $1,000,000 $800,000 $600,000 $400,000 $200,000 $0 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

Port of Charleston Break / Bulk Pier Tons*

Port of Charleston

13

2013 2014 (f) 2015 (f)

Source: S.C. State Ports Authority (f) forecast *TEUs: twenty-foot equivalent units

Year

TEUs*

% Change

Year

Pier Tons

% Change

2005

1,984,888

6.5%

2005

727,679

4.0%

2006

1,968,475

-0.8%

2006

649,826

-10.7%

2007

1,754,376

-10.9%

2007

649,228

-0.1%

2008

1,635,535

-6.8%

2008

587,388

-9.5%

2009

1,181,357

-27.8%

2009

538,106

-8.4%

2010

1,364,501

15.5%

2010

647,811

20.4%

2011

1,381,350

1.2%

2011

788,288

21.7%

2012

1,514,585

9.6%

2012

1,031,248

30.8%

2013

1,601,366

5.7%

2013

877,998

-14.9%

2014 (f)

1,701,658

6.3%

2014 (f)

754,922

-14.0%

2015 (f)

1,819,338

6.9%

2015 (f)

785,119

4.0%

Source: S.C. State Ports Authority (f) forecast *TEUs: twenty-foot equivalent units

Source: S.C. State Ports Authority (f) forecast *Excludes Georgetown & Port Royal Pier Tons


Transportation (Airport) Charleston International Airport Passenger Activity* Year

Enplanements

Deplanements

% Change From Previous Year

2005

1,073,437

1,069,668

16.8%

2006

943,305

934,326

-12.7%

2007

1,141,364

1,134,180

21.4%

2008

1,170,908

1,163,438

2.6%

2009

1,096,605

1,093,646

-6.0%

2010

1,012,183

1,009,145

-7.7%

2011

1,260,704

1,260,125

24.9%

2012

1,297,330

1,295,733

2.8%

2013

1,470,901

1,443,099

11.4%

2014 (f)

1,515,028

1,486,392

3.0%

2015 (f)

1,560,479

1,530,984

3.0%

Source: Charleston County Aviation Authority (f) forecast *includes civilian and military passengers

Enplanement Deplanement

Charleston International Airport Passenger Activity*

Total passenger activity at Charleston International Airport increased by 13 percent in 2013, a result of JetBlue’s new service to Charleston. Passenger volumes for all airlines serving Charleston increased during the year with Southwest and JetBlue’s low fare impact resulting in a drop in ticket prices for nearly all flights. Total passenger volumes are forecasted to continue to grow over the next two years by three percent each year. The redevelopment of the passenger terminal at Charleston International Airport is well underway and expected to be completed by the fall of 2015. The $168 million project will add new gates, relocate security and significantly upgrade the look and feel of the terminal. The renovation also includes an expanded landing apron for planes and an expanded and renovated baggage handling area along with other improvements.

$1,800,000 $1,600,000 $1,400,000 $1,200,000 $1,000,000 $800,000 $600,000 $400,000 $200,000 $0 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

2013 2014 (f) 2015 (f)

Source: Charleston County Aviation Authority (f) forecast *includes civilian and military passengers

14


Visitor Industry The region’s visitor industry continued to expand in 2013, with area experts reporting another strong year of activity. One of the highlights of the year was being named the country’s top travel destination for the third year in a row by Conde Nast. Average hotel occupancy increased during the year to 72 percent and the average daily rate charged by area hotels was $128.51. RevPAR, or revenue per available room, a standard measurement by the lodging industry, increased by 7.6 percent from the previous year. RevPAR is used as an overall metric indicating financial performance of a property. Total attendance at area attractions increased by 5.8 percent in 2013, despite a government shutdown in October that closed attractions such as Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie. The increase is attributed to new exhibits at a number of attractions, including the SC Aquarium. The forecast is for attendance to increase again in 2014 by a more modest amount and then remain flat for 2015. The profile of Charleston’s typical visitor includes a high level of repeat visitation, thus the historic attractions continue to be challenged to find new and creative ways to attract attendees. The forecast expects the region’s visitor industry to continue to strengthen over the next two years. The addition of JetBlue and the international exposure the region is receiving will continue to attract leisure and business travelers to the market. The only negative is the downturn in the defense industry, which is expected to impact military-related travel, including both hotel occupancy and meetings and conventions. A number of hotels being constructed in downtown Charleston, Mt. Pleasant and North Charleston, will provide an influx of new rooms and, no doubt, have some short term impact on overall occupancy and average daily rates.

15

Charleston County Lodging Occupancy Trends Year

Average Occupancy

Average Daily Rate

% Change From Previous Year

RevPAR

2005

69.83%

$104.50

5.48%

$72.97

2006

70.09%

$110.78

6.01%

$77.65

2007

71.83%

$120.81

9.05%

$86.78

2008

67.74%

$124.31

2.90%

$84.21

2009

62.67%

$114.91

-7.56%

$72.01

2010

69.11%

$112.67

-1.95%

$77.87

2011

69.82%

$116.49

3.39%

$81.33

2012

70.02%

$122.74

5.37%

$85.94

2013

71.98%

$128.51

4.70%

$92.50

2014 (f)

73.00%

$132.44

3.06%

$96.68

2015 (f)

73.12%

$135.73

2.48%

$99.25

Source: Office of Tourism Management, College of Charleston (f) forecast

Attendance at Area Attractions Year

Attendance

% Change From Previous Year

2005

1,711,030

-3.0%

2006

1,690,060

-1.2%

2007

1,692,547

0.1%

2008

1,514,128

-10.5%

2009

1,543,429

1.9%

2010

1,583,664

2.6%

2011

1,654,289

4.5%

2012

1,652,423

-0.1%

2013

1,749,027

5.8%

2014 (f)

1,803,956

3.1%

2015 (f)

1,795,201

-0.5%

Source: Center for Business Research (f) forecast Attraction Attendance is the reported attendance at 15 select area attractions. For a complete listing of the attractions, please contact the Center for Business Research.

Attractions include: Fort Sumter, Fort Moultrie, Charleston Museum, Heyward Washington House, Joseph Manigault House, Aiken Rhett House, Charles Towne Landing, Middleton Place, Edmondston-Alston House, Gibbes Museum, Nathaniel Russell House, Drayton Hall, Patriots Point, Charles Pinckney and the SC Aquarium.


RevPAR 2008 - 2015 $120.00 $100.00 $80.00 $60.00 $40.00 $20.00 $0.00 2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014 (f)

2015 (f)

Source: Office of Tourism Management, College of Charleston (f) forecast

Charleston County Lodging Occupancy 74.00% 72.00% 70.00% 68.00% 66.00% 64.00% 62.00% 60.00% 58.00% 56.00% 2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014 (f)

2015 (f)

Source: Office of Tourism Management, College of Charleston (f) forecast


Methodology Data for the forecast is collected by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Business Research. The survey methodology has been reviewed by the College of Charleston. The Chamber also collects regional specific data, which is collected by other regional agencies, such as the transportation data and local housing conditions. Data reported by national and state agencies, such as employment, inflation and interest rates, are downloaded directly from those agencies. The statistical methodology used to generate the forecast herein is Vector Autoregression or VAR. This technique uses the previous outcomes of a variety of different economic series to forecast one particular economic variable. This technique often outperforms more complicated theoretical models and is more flexible than a simple autoregressive formulation. The results were discussed at length among the Economic Outlook Board members, who provide valuable insight into the local economy. These insights are then incorporated into the forecasts where necessary.

Center for Business Research Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce 843.577.2510

www.charlestonchamber.net

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Economic Outlook Board Charlie Carmody CB Richard Ellis Carmody Harry Gregorie GDC Katie Henderson Dunhill Staffing Systems Danny Kassis SCE&G Angie Johnson Daniel Island Company Inc., Charleston Trident Association of Realtors Wilbur Johnson Young Clement Rivers LLP Perrin Lawson Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Tripp Meares Wells Fargo Barbara Melvin South Carolina State Ports Authority Bill New Charleston County Aviation Authority Judi Olmstead Charleston County Aviation Authority Steve Slifer NumberNomics Peter Steketee Embassy Suites Hotel Charleston Area Convention Center Steve Warner Charleston Regional Development Alliance

Department of Economics and Finance, School of Business, College of Charleston Frank Hefner, Ph.D. Mark Witte, Ph.D.

Center for Business Research, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce Mary Graham, CCR, IOM, CCE Jacki Renegar

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Economic Forecast