Consumer sentiment nationwide declined sharply in July. If the reactions I’ve heard from friends are any indication, a trio of factors is certainly depressing sentiment here in southeast Georgia: a run of hot weather that — together with steep Georgia Power increases — has bumped many electric bills up 100% or more from last month; gas prices on the rise again; and growing irritation over the inability of elected leaders to raise the debt ceiling.
Still, while we don’t yet have information from the Georgia Dept. of Labor about employment in June, this past week’s release of Georgia revenue figures suggests an economy still on the mend. Note here that sales tax revenue and individual income tax revenue, both of which are excellent barometers of state economic growth, increased respectably over last year:
And here’s the same info for fiscal year 2011 vs. fiscal year 2010:
I remain concerned about the prospect of a new recession, but there’s no evidence of one on the horizon in this data. For larger versions, go here.
Please note, however, that June 2011’s revenue figures are still significantly below the June 2007 peak. Gross sales tax revenue is off 15.4%, and individual income tax revenue is off 3.6%. If those numbers were adjusted for inflation, they’d be even worse.