State economy still 'pretty good'

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COLUMBIA --- South Carolina is not in a recession as many fear, but a deteriorating national economy will likely cause a slowdown in the coming months, according to an economic report released Monday.

"The current state of the economy looks pretty good," said Doug Woodward, an economics professor and research director of the University of South Carolina's business school. "But it's not expected to get any better anytime soon."

Mr. Woodward said economic indicators, such as the 8,800 jobs the state added in January, surprised researchers.

The unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in January, down 0.1 percentage points from December's adjusted rate.

Mr. Woodward said months of worrisome news has not substantially changed South Carolinians' spending habits.

A state index of future economic activity has dropped for six consecutive months and hit a new low, according to the report.

The good news is that home construction is no longer declining.


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