WTVM Editorial 1/27/17: Experts optimist about Georgia's economic growth

(WTVM) - With the election of Donald Trump, some economic analysts are crediting the recent rise of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, now past the historic mark of 20,000, to the new president and his plan to lower taxes, cut regulations and improve our trade positions.

These analysts call the rise in stocks the "Trump Bump." But is the 20,000 mark really that meaningful to consumers and the rest of the economy?

There's no right answer to that question, but maybe some context will be helpful. Back in 1987, the Dow Jones average struggled to move from just 1,000 to 2,000.

When it did, it was a 100 percent improvement. The rise from 19,000 to 20,000 now, 30 years later, is only a 5 percent increase by comparison.

But it can represent a positive psychological boost and the economy benefits from anything positive.

We'd all like to think the economy can grow faster. That would mean wages might grow, too.

But the real value of the stock market's growth is over time…a long time.

Getting too excited about milestones misses the big picture of saving and investing over the long term, no matter what your age.

For the many workers with a 401k retirement savings plan or an individual retirement account, a rising stock market is always welcome because it adds to personal wealth.

Far more important, we believe, is the kind of local economic forecast offered by the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia during a recent event in Columbus.

Their experts say Georgia's economy will grow in 2017 and so will jobs.

In fact, the UGA economists think Georgia will outpace the country in 2017: growing 3.2 percent compared to an overall US growth rate of 2.5 percent.

In the Columbus region, they predict better times as well, citing the stability of troop losses at Fort Benning, the positive economic effects of Columbus State University and the strength of our financial and leisure businesses as reasons to be optimistic about economic growth in southwest Georgia in 2017.

We think that could benefit everyone.


General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road 
Columbus, GA 31906

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