WTVM Editorial 2/5/18: Local economy strong

(WTVM) - Every year, the respected Terry School of Business at the University of Georgia forecasts the economic growth of each of the major cities in the state.

No doubt Atlanta will always lead the way in the highest percentage of growth and job creation. In fact, Georgia is expected to outpace the country as a whole when it comes to Gross Domestic Production in 2018.

But Columbus has a good story to tell, too, and it's important to share because good news is contagious.

Columbus' growth will largely come from three areas. First, expansion of big employers like Pratt and Whitney, Anthem and Fort Benning will keep us moving forward.

Fort Benning is vitally important to our economy and the economic forecast for the base looks promising.

Now that the Amy's Security Force Assistance Brigade has joined Fort Benning, the positive effects of adding over 500 personnel will be felt.

The Army also announced that Benning would receive the Military Advisor Training Academy. There's no doubt Fort Benning is no longer losing troops as it did under previous administrations.

Then there is the expansion of hospitality and its related industries. With our attractions, great weather and good location the experts predict more travel to our area which lists hotels, restaurants, and other visitor-friendly businesses.

And when it comes to home prices, the Terry School of Business sees both home prices and new home construction activity increasing at a moderate pace.

The improved housing situation reflects recently added jobs, plus the 1,000 new jobs expected in 2018, the stability at Fort Benning, and mortgage rates that are still very affordable.

With overall unemployment falling, more consumer dollars in the economy not to mention consumer confidence, 2018 is shaping up to be a success story for Columbus and we are always proud to tell that kind of good news story.

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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