Originally created 09/12/99

Augusta area expecting slow growth



The Augusta-Aiken area has prospered, but not as much as other cities.

And area residents can look for more of the same through the new year, economists say.

What's still holding Georgia's second-largest metropolitan area back is something that happened years ago when 10,000 jobs were eliminated at Savannah River Site.

The good news is that those jobs are being replaced by new ones at telephone call centers and warehouses and tire factories.

A key to continued growth, local leaders say is a broad-based assault on several fronts, from air-quality restrictions to slow development of home-grown technology companies to transportation.

In the Business section of The Augusta Chronicle today, economists and community leaders offer their predictions for Augusta's economy over the next several months.

What they provide is a look at the area's present situation and a guide map of possibilities to the Augusta area's future economy.

And though no one can predict the future, Augusta's track record is fairly plain: slow, steady growth.

Economist picks

Economists who cover the Augusta area say some sectors will benefit and some will not over the next few months:

Winners:

Retail trade/restaurant

Financial/insurance/real estate

Telecommunications/data processing

Losers:

Wholesale trade

Construction

Manufacturing