Fuller paints optimistic picture for Spotsy, region
Stephen Fuller anticipates regional economic growth over next decade
Date published: 5/5/2011
BY BILL FREEHLING
Spotsylvania County will experience solid job and income growth over the next decade, a well-known regional economist told local business leaders yesterday.
George Mason University economist Stephen Fuller projects the region will add higher-dollar jobs in professional and business services, health care and education over the next several years due to the educated workforce, cheaper land costs, infrastructure in place and fewer traffic problems.
"This is a good place to do business," said Fuller, director of Mason's Center for Regional Analysis and a frequent speaker at business events. Yesterday's remarks were at Spotsylvania's annual business appreciation luncheon at the Fredericksburg Country Club.
The job growth will increase the local population, which will lead to a rebound in home-building, Fuller predicts. That will have a significant trickle-down effect on the economy but also tax the resources of local governments.
Fuller said Spotsylvania and Fredericksburg are definitely part of the Washington-area economy, which has been one of the best performers during the recession and nascent recovery. That's due in part to federal spending, which Fuller said will remain strong but take a less important role in driving the economy. He expects education and health care to fill in the gap.
Fuller also predicts an upturn in regional housing activity, but probably not a significant one for a couple of years. He thinks the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates early next year and accelerate the pace through 2013.
With higher interest rates on the way, Fuller said, now is a good time to buy a house.
Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405