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Link in to Lincoln: December Update on the South

Greetings and happy holidays!

As 2013 draws to a close, an array of new data shows that the steady economic recovery the South has enjoyed throughout the year remains on firm footing and is set to continue in 2014. According to the numbers, the region’s home market and manufacturing sector showed additional improvement this fall, and a significant chunk of employers say they’re ready to increase their payrolls early next year.

Twenty percent of Georgia companies and 19 percent of Florida firms surveyed recently by ManpowerGroup say they plan to hire more workers in first-quarter 2014. On the flip side, only 4 percent of the employers surveyed from each state said they intend to decrease staff levels. Both metrics represent improvement from a similar ManpowerGroup survey conducted one year ago about first-quarter 2013.

In another positive indicator, manufacturing activity in the Southeast is increasing. In November, the Southeast Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) measured 52.2, up from 50.4 one month earlier. The index measures the strength of the manufacturing industry in the area covering Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. A score above 50 means the sector is expanding, while one below 50 means it’s contracting. The Southeast PMI has been below 50 in only one of the past 11 months.

Finally, the sale of existing homes in the South reached an annual rate of 2.06 million in October, up more than 7 percent from one year earlier, and the median sales price continued to grow, up nearly 13 percent from the same month in 2012.

These trends are illuminated in more detail in the three infographics below.

We at Lincoln Property Company Southeast have enjoyed an active and successful 2013, and we’re tremendously excited about what lies ahead both for our firm and for the commercial real estate markets in general in 2014. It’s going to be an exciting year. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy a happy and safe holiday season.