Study finds Gulf Coast economy resilient

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A new study released Monday by the Gulf Coast Business Council Research Foundation shows the coast may have fared better during the Coastal Crisis than most experts expected.

The study found in May and June, despite oil pouring into the gulf, and fears about the seafood and tourism industries struggling, South Mississippi's economy proved strong.

"While certain sectors of our economy and many individual businesses are being significantly impacted by the oil spill, our economy as a whole is proving again to be very resilient. Notably, prior the oil spill the economy on the Gulf Coast was showing signs, such as increasing sales tax revenues, of transitioning from the national recession into a period of progress, and we will be closely monitoring how the oil spill ultimately impacts our recovery in the third quarter and beyond," the study said.

Two cities posted huge increases in sale tax revenue for the second quarter thanks to new shopping areas. The rebuilt Walmart Supercenter in Pass Christian gave that city a 150 percent sales tax increase from second quarter 2009 to 2010.

The opening of The Promenade Shopping Center in D'Iberville boosted sales tax there 23 percent in the period from April through June this year over last year.

Bay St. Louis, Gautier, Gulfport, Ocean Springs and Waveland posted decreases from last year.  Overall, second quarter sales tax numbers across the coast went up just .09 percent.

The job market showed signs of improvement. The study pointed to jobs being added in Harrison County for the first time in 22 months.

Click here to read the entire economic study

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