Thursday, February 14, 2013

PNC economist: Charlotte's economy a leader among peers

Last year, Charlotte's economy went from lagging the country as a whole to being the leader among similar-sized cities. In 2013, that growth is expected to accelerate, PNC Financial Services economist Mekael Teshome told the Observer on Thursday.

The city's payroll growth has been driven by professional services, which encompass a number of office-based professions: accountants, attorneys, consultants and the like. The economy has also been aided by a stabilization of public sector jobs, Teshome said, and the worst is over for job losses in the financial services sector.

Over 2013, the unemployment rate is expected to decline to 8.7 percent, from 9.4 percent, according to a PNC outlook. Teshome said he believes the housing market recovery "has legs," as well.

PNC also has a positive long-term outlook on Charlotte. As is true in much of the Southeast, the Charlotte area benefits from in-migration and a relatively young and educated population. While 62 percent of the U.S. is between age 18 and 64 -- also known as the working age -- in Charlotte it is 67 percent, Teshome said.