Augusta Economic Commentary, Jan. 2015

In November, Georgia Regents University’s Hull College of Business’ Augusta Leading Economic Index (LEI) increased 1.0% from October.The index has increased 4.7%% from November 2013. This represents nine consecutive months of growth.

Housing continues to be a drag on the index, with declines in monthly residential permits in three of the last four months (after seasonal adjustment). This weakness in the housing market is also reflected in sales of homes: the average price of a home sold in December 2014 in Augusta was up just 2.5% from December 2013 while the median price fell 0.7% over the last year.

What does all this mean for 2015? Join Georgia Regents University and the Hull College of Business for our 7th Annual Economic Forecast Breakfast at 7:30am on January 28th in the JSAC center on the Summerville campus. RSVP to


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About the Index

The Augusta Leading Economic Index (Augusta LEI) is a monthly composite index that combines several national, regional, and local indicators into a single variable. Leading indexes combine variables that change before business cycle variables such as employment changes. Leading indexes may, therefore, indicate changes that could occur in the economy. Leading indexes are not forecasts or predictions about the future, but may signify future economic activity.

The Augusta LEI may provide local decision makers with timely information about future business cycle patterns in the Augusta area. The Augusta LEI uses economic indicators for the Augusta Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes seven counties (i.e., Burke, Columbia, Lincoln, McDuffie, and Richmond counties in Georgia, and Aiken and Edgefield counties in South Carolina).

The index also includes regional and national indicators to reflect that national trends affect the local economy. The index is constructed in the same way that the Conference Board constructs the Leading Economic Index for the United States.

About Simon Medcalfe
simon medcalfeSimon Medcalfe is an Associate Professor of Finance in GRU’s Hull College of Business. He earned his doctoral degree from Lehigh University, and he received his master’s degree from the University of Leicester.

Medcalfe has authored numerous academic articles and is a former columnist for the The Augusta Chronicle’s “Your Business” section.

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Danielle Harris

Danielle Harris is Senior Media Relations Coordinator at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-7511 or

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Written by Danielle Harris

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