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Heading into 2018, the Palmetto State economy remains strong and stable and should stay on course in the new year. That was the prediction earlier this month by two research economists from  the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business.

Doug Woodward and Joey Von Nessen said they expect broad-based growth to continue across most industries in the state with gains in employment and income. Von Nessen said the top indicator of economic performance — job creation — is expected to climb by about 2.1 percent, driven by the manufacturing and professional and business services sectors. The labor market, he commented, “is more favorable to workers than at any time in the last eight years.”

“Although our current economic expansion is now in its ninth year, it’s important to remember that economic expansions don’t die of old age,” Von Nessen added. “Market fundamentals are strong, and the state’s economy is in a very good position as we head toward 2018.” 

Despite the mostly positive outlook for 2018, South Carolina employers will face a key challenge in the year ahead, as they did in 2017.“Labor availability will be the bottleneck of economic growth in 2018,” Von Nessen said. Woodward said one upside is that the shortages could push the economic recovery into new areas of South Carolina — past cities like Columbia and Charleston and into smaller towns. (Credit: The Post & Courier)