2018 has been a very good year economically for Virginia, according to Old Dominion University's annual State of the Commonwealth report.
Virginia appears to have finally bounced back from the Great Recession a decade ago.
Robert McNab is the report’s lead author:
“We find that 2018 it has been the best year economically for Virginia this decade.”
McNab says that success has come from an uptick in federal spending and a thriving private sector. Those positive gains contributed to significant drops in unemployment and small jumps in earnings for some Virginians.
Despite the rosy statistics, there is uncertainty about Virginia’s future economic growth thanks to uncertainty about government spending and an on-going trade dispute with China.
McNab says Virginia can begin preparing for a slowing economy now.
“So rather than for example, pushing through tax cuts, which are hard to reverse, or pushing through large pay increases, which are hard to reverse, perhaps the best thing to do now is to moderate policy – prepare for the worst and hope for the best.”
He also believes state officials made a very wise choice when they added surplus funds to Virginia’s rainy day fund last year.