More good economic news:
Analysts are predicting that the economy probably created 200,000 new jobs last month, with the unemployment rate probably holding steady at 5 percent. That would follow 215,000 new jobs in November after two months in which job growth had stalled because of the onslaught of massive layoffs in Gulf Coast states.
Economists are predicting that 2006 will represent another year of steady growth in jobs of around 175,000 per month. That reflects their belief that the economy will keep growing at a solid pace this year as business spending to expand and modernize production facilities offsets expected slower growth in housing sales and overall consumer spending.
The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates 13 consecutive times and is expected to boost rates again at Alan Greenspan’s last meeting on Jan. 31 to make sure that inflation remains in check. But the Dow Jones industrial average shot up by 130 points on Tuesday following release of Fed minutes of the December meeting that suggested the rate hikes are drawing to a close.
Meanwhile, Governor Perdue released his list of top economic items for 2005 with the list topped by this:
Legislation passed in the 2005 session that stimulates jobs and investment. The 2005 legislative session was the most business-friendly ever, as Governor Perdue signed into law several bills that are reaping benefits for Georgians. The Strategic Industries Tax Credit (HB389) encourages businesses to expand in Georgia instead of going elsewhere, and the Corporate Tax Reform Bill (HB191) has been instrumental in persuading companies to locate or keep jobs and investment in the state. Another tax relief law, the Entrepreneur and Small Business Growth Initiative (HB 282), gives a leg up to small businesses. The impact of these measures became apparent with the 16.5 percent jump in the number of projects announced for Georgia from last October to this. Additionally, the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act (HB 539) has stimulated a 65% increase in leads and requests from production companies.