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HAMPTON ROADS ECONOMY IS GROWING, RESEARCHERS SAY

The Hampton Roads economy has seen record growth in new home construction, hotel revenues and taxable retails sales during the first five months of the year and the third-quarter growth is expected to jump 12.4 percent from last year's third quarter to $228.1 million in 2002, according to an Old Dominion University Economic Forecasting Project report.

Compiled by economics professors Gilbert Yochum, Vinod Agarwal and Mohammad Najand, the report reviewed the region's economic performance during the first five months of this year and projected its third-quarter performance.

According to the researchers, the region's homebuilding has far exceeded any previous January through May period in terms of the number of new homes and the value of the homes built. During the first five months of 2001, 2,893 residential permits with a value of $355 million were issued. During the first five months of 2002, that figure rose to a record 3,289 permits valued at $419 million. The average value of homes has risen 5.7 percent from last year to this year.

Hotel revenues, one measure of the tourism industry, jumped 3.5 percent the first five months of 2002 - a surge caused by
more drive-in tourists coming to the region. The researchers said that growth will continue into the third quarter with $225.9 million in revenues over the $218.3 million in the third quarter of 2001 - a 3.5 percent increase.

The region's taxable retail sales are up by 2.6 percent compared to the same period last year. Third quarter taxable sales are expected to increase from $3.82 billion in 2001 to $3.94 billion this year - a 3.1 percent increase.

This article was posted on: July 19, 2002

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