Did you feel richer in 2012?
Statistically, the federal government says you were.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis released the personal incomes for metropolitan areas on Thursday. The per capita personal income for the Augusta metro area is $35,949, a 2 percent increase over 2011.
It ranks Augusta 257 among metro areas. It puts our region in between Eugene, Ore., and Fayetteville, Ark.
No. 1? Well, that’s Midland, Texas, where the income per person calculates out to be $83,049.
As most stock indexes are trading at their half-year high and seemingly setting records every day, it is worth noting that several of the stocks of local interest that we follow in the Sunday business section are also trading close to their high points.
There are a dozen of them hovering around their 52-week-highs.
Kimberly-Clark was trading high even before Thursday’s announcement that it was going to spin off its health-care business as its own company.
The stock closed Thursday at $109.71 per share, which is the high.
Augusta’s best North American trade partner is Toronto.
The bilateral trade between the two cities is about $134 million a year, according to a think-tank analysis.
The next-best trading partner is Mexico City, at $79 million of trade back and forth, followed by Montreal at $77 million.
The commodities that Augusta exports the most to either Mexico or Canada are chemicals and plastics. Wood products – no surprise there – and machinery and tools are the other commodities in demand here or there.
Small business borrowing in Richmond and Columbia counties was higher this year.
The U.S Small Business Administration backed $22.5 million in loans to 35 client businesses in the two counties during the SBA’s fiscal year 2013, which just ended in September.
In fiscal year 2012, the SBA backed $19.7 million in business lending in the two counties – 37 different project loans – for capital to start or expand businesses.
If you happen to be watching business news on TV on Nov. 13, be on the lookout for an Augustan ringing the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange.
Kessel Stelling, the chief executive officer for Synovus bank, gets the honor of ringing the bell to close trading at the NYSE at 4 p.m. (Or you can see it at www.nyse.com.)
Stelling’s appearance has a lot to do with the regional bank, headquartered in Columbus, Ga., turning 125 years old this month.
Banks in the area have $7.6 billion of your money.
More money has been entrusted to banks, about $88 million more, since last year’s survey of banks by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
The deposit market share report shows that Wells Fargo still leads the pack. Its market share is about the same as 2012, 20.5 percent. That translates to $1.57 billion of deposits.
Locally-owned Georgia Bank and Trust is in a close second with $1.44 billion.
The reasonable person standard was under assault by the rationale given by Bass Pro Shops’ decision to cancel its Interstate 20 store near CarMax.
Bottom line business idea: Stores make money for the owner.
Edgefield County Alltel customers, you just joined AT&T.
AT&T completed its acquisition of Atlantic Tele-Network Inc.’s U.S. retail wireless assets operated under the Alltel brand this week.
The whole deal involves the network, towers, stores and subcribers in six states, mostly in rural areas.
In South Carolina, it involves about 155,000 customers. Other nearby areas affected include Orangeburg, McCormick, Allendale, Barnwell and Bamberg. (About 100 employees are now also part of AT&T.)
Augusta ships out $2.7 billion in exports, and exports are becoming a bigger slice of the metro area’s economic pie.
The number is from 2012 (because 2013 isn’t done yet) and makes Augusta 88th if you line up all the metro areas in the nation.
The significant number in a Brookings Institution report is that Augusta has had a 6.5 percent annualized growth rate in its exports since 2009. Strong export performance over the past several years has played a central role in the ongoing economic recovery in the U.S., particularly in the largest metro areas.
Can’t really call it a happy anniversary. Five years ago this month is when the financial crisis started that sparked the Great Recession. Wall Street was faltering. Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. AIG got an $85 billion federal reserve loan to stay afloat. Congress was debating TARP. The FDIC seized Washington Mutual. The mortgage meltdown was getting bad enough that the federal government nationalized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Business and economic news was on the front page a lot that month.