2017 Sentiment Survey Results are in....​

Download Household Results
Download Business Results

Area Employment Reports

The Butler Center is an applied research center in the Turner College of Business at Columbus State University. We opened in August 2011 with the vision of becoming a leader in the economic development of the Chattahoochee Valley region by providing objective business and economic analysis. We provide timely, highly quality and affordable products including policy analysis, economic impact analysis, market  analysis, forecasting and cost/benefit analysis.

A Look at CRIME

Where are the jobs?

Employment by Industry 
(Columbus GA-AL MSA)

Columbus, GA-AL MSA real home values down 1.5% in first quarter of 2016.

The Housing Price Index for the Columbus, GA-AL MSA reflects a decrease of 1.5% in real home values in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the previous quarter.  The real home home values are 4.7% below their value in the first quarter of 2000 and nearly 25% below their pre-recession peak.  

About this Brexit....


What happened?
As the British voting concluded with an exit from the European Union on June 23. 2016, many short-run ramifications are looming, potentially causing a tailspin for the British economy.  Global competitiveness of British businesses and concerns about immigration sent an official “Brexit” in addition to a prior opting of the EU's monetary union (meaning that it uses the pound instead of the euro) and the Schengen Area (meaning that it does not share open borders with a number of other European states). Brexit’s campaigners argue that Brussels' bureaucracy is a drag on the British economy and that EU laws and regulations are a threat to British sovereignty. With this vote, UK citizens believe that Great Britain can survive without economic cooperation, trade agreements, and partnerships from EU establishment. 

Impacts to consider:

​TRADE:  With new trade options to consider, England must revamp trade structures and partners to sustain and preserve economic stability.  Possible trade options include:

     Norway Option:  Norway has a trade deal giving it access to the single market, as part of EEA.  This allows British based banks to carry on doing business in the EU.  But Norway must accept the EU’s single market rules and regulations without having a say in making them. 
    Canada Option:  Britain would no longer have to allow in workers from across the block or pay into its budget.  This partially opens up the market for services which make up 80% of Britain’s economy.  Banks would have same access to EU as they do now.  Estimates reveal this agreement would leave Britain’s economy 6.2% smaller by 2030 than it would be if it stayed.
    Switzerland Option:  Switzerland has bilateral deals with the EU which give it access to bits of the single market in return for a fee, but it does not have the right to provide cross-border financial services. Big Swiss banks have set up subsidiaries in EU countries, adding to their costs.  Switzerland also adopts EU rules in the areas in which it has single market access and accepts the free movement of EU citizens although a vote in favor of restrictions, at a referendum in 2014, has jeopardized Swiss-EU economic ties. 
    WTO Option:  Falling back on WTO rules to govern relationship with the EU could be an option that would send the UK in an economic tailspin.  EU has higher tariff levels on some goods including a 10% duty on automobiles, an industry employing about 800,000 people in Britain.  Cutting tariffs would leave some sectors facing fierce competition. 

CURRENCY:  Even as US and European bonds may see heavier investment, the EURO and BRITISH POUND STERLING could see devaluation. 

     £- Expect the Pound Sterling to fall, as it did after the UK left the exchange rate mechanism on Black Wednesday in September 1992. Some investors may flee from the trade uncertainties, which lead to a weaker pound.

     €Losing the United Kingdom threatens the political and economic stability of the entire EU, which already suffers from internal conflict and banking issues. Even if the euro weakens against the dollar, it might see gains against the pound. Volatility on both ends could decouple the euro from real economic data, creating overvaluation or undervaluation and setting up a rugged uncertain path of foreign exchange. 

     $- A rise in the dollar could result from the flight to safe assets in the US. The stronger dollar would raise the prices of US exports and make imports cheaper for US consumers, lowering inflationary pressure.  With the British pound falling to a 31-year low against the dollar and the Euro remaining weak, investors seem to be pulling out of UK and EU currency, driving up the value of the dollar. 

As the dynamics of these currencies could be under or overestimated, it all depends on the actions of the Bank of England.  It is not certain that the Sterling and Euro will plummet, and even if the Euro weakens against the dollar, it might see gains against the pound.  


With short-run speculation of a stronger US Dollar, Eurozone vacations for American travelers may be more affordable.  Clearly a strong dollar makes it cheaper to travel abroad, enabling American consumers to buy more for a dollar than before.

 If the dollar does indeed rise against the Euro and Pound, a drop in yield from U.S. Treasuries and CDs may result from price increases. Immediately after the Brexit, Treasury yields collapsed to the lowest levels in years.  

With Treasury rates and mortgage rates frequently trending in the same directions, the American homebuyers should see cheaper financing on home purchases, even causing a boom in refinancings.  

Americans in search of jobs overseas, especially in Britain, will see stagnant success as England will likely move to curb immigration and extend thresholds for visas and skilled workers.


Firms are likely to move out of London because of the prospect of losing their "financial passport" privileges once outside the EU.  The European Central Bank may use strong monetary policy and active bond buying programs to potentially rebound the fall of currencies.  The EU was good for Britain as the UK had the slowest growth in prosperity in the G6 before EU membership, and has had the fastest growth after joining.  Alternatively, one can say that growth rates could be attributed to Margaret Thatcher's reforms, but given the dramatic improvement of Britains position, it is difficult to argue that the EU impeded growth.  It is important to note that leaving the EU will actually afford Britain little additional regulatory freedom, unless new unilateral free trade is adopted and barriers are dropped.  It becomes evident and clear the Gilt yield will fall, especially since 27% of Gilt market is owned by foreign investors.  Markets may start trading on inflation rather than growth, and with the UK operating at a 7% deficit, it may see a tough road ahead with damaging volatility and perhaps a recession in 2016.  As for the US, it is experiencing a current 0.1% decline in GDP, and this Brexit may push it slightly downward to a projected 0.2% decline in GDP by the end of the year.  Expect to see both the UK's and US's economy rely more on consumption with delayed business decisions.  



Federal Government Releases 2017 Budget Proposal.......

Figure 2 represents a proposed budget cut breakdown for the 2017 Federal Budget that includes proposed 10-year savings via 117 spending cuts.  This includes several discretionary cuts and consolidations which would save around $14 billion in 2017.  Mandatory cuts expect to incur $8.2 billion in savings and a futher 670 billion over the next decade.  These cuts aim to help the deficit, which is projected to increase this year from $438 billion up to $616 billion.  

*Information accessed from:  http://howmuch.net/articles/understanding-governmnet-budget-cuts
*How Much is a cost information website.

China's Trading Partners Breakdown

CBO's Outlook Report Released 

Full Report
​What you should know about......


What is unemployment insurance?
Unemployment insurance is temporary income for workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own and are either looking for another job, have a definite recall within 6 weeks of the last day worked, or are in approved training. The funding for unemployment insurance benefits comes from taxes paid by employers. Workers do not pay any of the costs.



Full Report 
 (706) 507-8669