Recent data show that the U.S. economy continues to grow at a modest pace as real GDP increased by 1.2% in 2017 (compared to 2.1% in 2016Q4).
The most recent employment report provides additional evidence of an expanding U.S. economy as non-farm sectors added 138, 000 jobs in May 2017. The
U.S. unemployment rate is now at 4.3%, the lowest it has been since March 2001. The most recent Case-Schiller Home Price Index, shows continued improvement in the housing market with March 2017 U.S. home prices up 5.8% compared to March 2016. Housing prices in the Atlanta MSA (which includes most West Georgia counties) are rising slightly slower than the nation as a whole, up 5.5% year-over-year. Unemployment rates (NSA) in April 2017 were down in all six counties in the West Georgia Region compared to April 2016. At 4.1%, Coweta and Paulding counties have the lowest unemployment rate in the region. On the other hand, Polk County has the highest rate at 5.4%. The unemployment rates in Carroll, Douglas and Haralson counties were 5.0%, 4.9% and 4.8%, respectively.