Business Briefs

Report: Triangle growth to exceed national average

Posted May 16, 2012 12:13 p.m. EDT
Updated May 16, 2012 12:30 p.m. EDT

Economy

— A new regional economic forecast from PNC Bank has good news for the Triangle area, from more jobs to better pay and improving home prices.

More jobs mean the region’s unemployment rate will drop to 8 percent from 8.3 percent in March, says PNC Economist Mekael Teshome. The Triangle is forecast to increase jobs by nearly 2 percent vs. a 1.6 percent increase nationally.

Family incomes should increase 4.4 percent, better than the 3.8 percent expected across the country.

Home prices, meanwhile, should increase 0.6 percent this year and 2.4 percent in 2013, reversing four years of decline even as housing prices nationwide look to fall 2.4 percent this year before climbing 1.6 percent next year.

The data has Teshome thinking positively about the market, which PNC defines as Raleigh, Durham, Goldsboro and Rocky Mount metro areas.

The state considers the Triangle market as Raleigh-Durham-Cary-Chapel Hill and says unemployment was 7.8 percent in March.

“The Raleigh market’s economic recovery is set to top the nation’s in 2012 and 2013,” he wrote in the report.

“Raleigh and Durham metros will lead the pack as education, healthcare, tech and professional services drive above-average payroll growth.”

Teshome estimates that jobs will continue to be added to the point that payrolls should “exceed their pre-recession peak around mid-2013.”

However, because the area’s population continues to grow, Teshome cautioned that job growth “will barely keep up with labor force entrants.” Because of that, he does not foresee a big drop in unemployment.

Teshome’s forecast of 1.9 percent growth in jobs coincides with a recent Forbes report of 2 percent. That estimate ranked the Triangle as one of the nation’s best for job growth.