BEA Talks Economy, Revenues & Roads
The SC Board of Economic Advisors (BEA) met Thursday afternoon to discuss trends and economic factors influencing forecast decisions. Frank Rainwater, Executive Director of the SC Revenue and Fiscal Affairs (RFA) Office, told the BEA that the meeting was intended to be informational and discuss "what we see out there" and that the October meeting will be focused on an actual forecast of what they "think will happen."
Rainwater noted that revenues for FY21-22 closed out above estimates (hence the surplus revenues) and that corporate income tax was among the top performers. The revenue stream continued to accelerate through the year's close and was over $1 billion.
Inflation continues to be the elephant in the room and is something economists continue to follow closely. Moving forward, RFA will be weighing factors impacting personal incomes (i.e., wage growth, interest rate hikes, impacts of potential recession) and consumer spending.
View the full BEA presentation here.
The BEA also extended invitations to the SC State Ports Authority (SCSPA) and SCDOT to provide insights on their economic outlook and overall operations. The SC Chamber of Commerce also offered a perspective from the business community.
SCSPA President & CEO Barbara Melvin provided the BEA with an overview of port activity and said that all signs remain favorable for Port growth. She noted population growth and the ability to manufacture and grow forest and agricultural products are advantageous to the Southeast and allow for twice the national port market growth (6% vs. 3%). Melvin also lauded recent investments in road and rail capacity to handle continued growth. View the SCSPA presentation here.
SCDOT Chief of Staff, Justin Powell, provided an overview of the state's transportation network, the 10-year plan, and how new dollars were being invested. Powell noted the importance of planning and establishing a robust project pipeline, which allows the agency to serve the private sector entities better as they invest in employees and equipment. Frank Rainwater reiterated that price tags on infrastructure projects weren't cheap, and growth would continue to be a challenge for the state. View the full SCDOT presentation here.
Bob Morgan, President & CEO of the SC Chamber of Commerce, reported on behalf of the business community. The SC Chamber is in the midst of a statewide grassroots tour, which Morgan said has allowed the chamber to gauge the top issues of concern. He noted that education and teacher pay were among top concerns, as well as workforce and legal reforms.