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CAPE FEAR MEMORIAL BRIDGE: Updates, resources, and context

UNCW's Annual Economic Forecast Not As Bright As Previous Years

Vince Winkel
UNCW's Adam Jones gives an economic outlook for the region Thursday morning.

UNCW professors Adam Jones and Thomas Simpson are forecasting partially cloudy skies for next year’s economic growth. The economists told an audience today at the University’s Economic Outlook Conference that despite strong numbers, wages aren’t keeping pace, and a recession may still be on the horizon. WHQR reports on an unlikely measure for this potential economic downturn.

UNCW economist Adam Jones says there’s a lot of uncertainty these days. Between trade issues and politics in Washington, and wages remaining somewhat stagnant, people are getting worried.

He uses recreation vehicles as a type of barometer.

“If we look at one of the indicators that we can use to predict growth in Southeastern North Carolina, we can look at expenditures on recreational goods. So this is the purchase of toys essentially, which includes RVs. And when that ticks down, it's about the two and a half years after, that the economy here in Southeastern North Carolina starts slowing down. So if we think about what that looks like by looking at sales of RVs, there's been a tick down.”

Jones says in May of 2018 RV sales and shipments nationwide went from growing to shrinking, which suggests that folks are more nervous about the future.  Vince Winkel, WHQR News.