Wells Fargo Economics Group
NC Outlook shows “downshift”
Thursday evening, Wells Fargo Economics Group released their latest North Carolina Outlook. Their analysis points to how global downturn and uncertainty over the pending Federal “fiscal cliff” put negative pressure on economic activity within the state this year, as well as create potential decline going into 2013.
Metro-specific analysis is also included in the Outlook for Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro and Winston-Salem.
National Retail Federation/Wells Fargo/NCLGBA
2012 Holiday Spending Growth Predicted
The National Retail Federation is predicting 4.1% annual growth in retail sales during the 2012 holiday season (November-December), while Wells Fargo also forecasts growth at 3.8%. While below last year’s 5.6% growth rate, it is still above the 3.1% rate reflecting the 10-year average.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Workforce Gains 171,000 Jobs
Today, the BLS reported a 7.9% seasonally-adjusted national unemployment rate for October 2012, slightly above last month’s 7.8% rate. Nonfarm payroll increased 171,000 in October, with private sector workforce growth of 184,000. Growth in the services sector continued to outpace goods-production (click here for quick overview of sector performance).
Labor force participation remains below 64%. At the October 2011 participate level of 64.1%, unemployment would be 8.3%, with the rate remaining near or above 10% at pre-recession participation levels. Total nonfarm payroll is still more than 4 million jobs less than early 2008, prior to the start of the recession.
NC Employment Security/BLS
NC Counties, Metro See September Payroll Gains
95 of 100 North Carolina Counties and all of the State’s Metropolitan Areas saw increases in nonfarm payroll in September. County payroll growth for the month (1.67%) was close to the year-to-year growth rate for September (1.77%), reflecting the ongoing issues North Carolina is having with sustaining increasing in employment.
Metropolitan areas saw average 1-Month job growth of 1.6%, with 12-Month growth clocking in at an average of 2.7%. Rocky Mount, struggling with among the highest unemployment rates for NC Metropolitan Areas, had the strongest 12-Month job growth at 4.4%.
“Demand Destruction” Helps Bring Gas Prices Down
Among the effects of Superstorm Sandy, North Carolina residents are noticing another significant drop in gas prices. This is due to the fact that while the storm did not disrupt national gasoline refinery or pipeline activity, the devastation and loss of end delivery infrastructure in the Northeast has created temporary “demand destruction” forcing prices to come down in other areas.
For a better explanation, check out this interview with NC State Economist, Dr. Michael Walden, aired Thursday night:
In the past week, the state average for unleaded as dropped 2.5%, and pump prices in many locations today are less than $3.30/gallon.
Since climbing to over $3.80/gallon shortly after Labor Day, the NC state average has dropped nearly 14%. In most metro areas, according to AAA, prices today are at or slightly above one year ago, though the state average is 21% higher than 2 years ago, reflecting considerable increases in gas prices and the impact felt on local budgets.
Next Wednesday, November 7th, 1PM ET – Unbalanced Mayhem: Trends, Challenges & Failures in Local Government Budgeting (Webinar Hosted by American Society for Public Administration & Association for Budgeting & Financial Management)
Presented by Kenneth Hunter, City of Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Across the country, local governments are struggling with fiscal pressures created by ongoing economic turmoil and its impact on revenues, expenditures and citizen quality of life. This presentation will examine specific challenges municipalities and counties encounter when developing annual budgets and how they impact local policy decisions with respect to personnel, capital, taxes and other facets of public administration. Click Here for Registration Info.
November 13th-15th – Intermediate Purchasing Seminar (UNC School of Government)
Friday, November 16th – Positive Problem Solving (UNC School of Government)
Facilitating positive change is the focus of this one-day leadership development workshop for public staff and elected officials who are interested in involving others, building on current assets, and engaging in joint problem-solving.
The course provides an opportunity for significant interaction with instructors and the chance to apply the course content to real-time work scenarios in class.
Wednesday, November 28th, 1PM ET – Michigan’s Emergency Manager Law: Fiscal Fix or Loss of Local Democracy? (Webinar Hosted by American Society for Public Administration & Association for Budgeting & Financial Management)
This webinar discusses the Michigan Emergency Law (EM law), passed in 2011. It is considered the most aggressive attempt by a state to modify and reign in local democracy in an attempt to solve a serious fiscal crisis. Most states take an approach where local officials are required to undertake certain actions in order to benefit from state support. Other states insert a financial control board which has the power to oversee city operations and potentially veto certain local decisions. Few states have implemented an approach that completely removes local decision making and local democracy. The question arises as the justification for such extreme action. Click Here for Registration Info.
Thursday, November 29th – Accounting & Auditing Update (UNC School of Government)
Presented by Greg Allison
This one-day course will focus on new and emerging governmental accounting and financial reporting requirements. Recent pronouncements and exposure drafts of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) will be highlighted, as will the GASB’s technical agenda. (8 Hours CPE)
- Overview of current GASB projects related to pension accounting
- Changes to the reporting of certain assets and liabilities
- Accounting and financial reporting requirements of GASB Statement No. 54 and other recent statements
- Highlights of the GASB’s new Comprehensive Implementation Guide
- Common accounting and financial reporting problems
Links of Interest