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Atlanta Economic Cycle: A Look Back to Help Predict the Future

midtown-skylineWhile the Atlanta economy is roaring ahead at an impressive pace today, anyone who has observed the U.S. economy for any length of time knows there are cycles of growth and cycles of Recession. The key is having longer growth periods, with shorter and less dramatic periods of Recession.

In recent decades, Atlanta has been one of the strongest metro economies when it comes to weathering those Recessions. Every market is going to take a hit when the economy goes into a downturn, but Atlanta has proven itself as one of the more resilient metro areas in the country.

“The story about Atlanta over the past four recession periods is how Atlanta outperformed the rest of the nation in the ’80s, ’90s and even the early 2000s,” said Ken McCarthy, Cushman & Wakefield’s Principal Economist. “I believe that when the current cycle ends, Atlanta will continue to see growth through the next Recession like they did in the ’80s and ’90s.”

For instance, during the Recession from 1Q 2001 to 4Q 2001, Atlanta’s GDP grew 1.2% vs. a 0.5% national average. The Consumer Price Index in Atlanta grew by just 0.5%, compared to 0.9% nationally. And retail sales grew by 2.9%, against a 2.8% national average.

To see many more examples of Atlanta’s strong performance in previous Recession periods, click here to view the full chart going back to the early 1980s from Cushman & Wakefield Research.

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