BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism Releases Results of Mid-Year Middle Georgia Economic Outlook Survey


MACON – Area businesses experienced a positive first half of 2016 and remain “cautiously optimistic” about the second half of the year, according to the results of Mercer University's Mid-Year Middle Georgia Economic Outlook Survey, released today.

The survey was conducted by the BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism in Mercer's Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics, in partnership with the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce, the Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, the Milledgeville-Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, the Jones County/Gray Chamber of Commerce, the Roberta-Crawford County Chamber of Commerce and the Wilkinson County Chamber of Commerce.

The BB&T Center and the partner chambers received responses to an electronic survey from nearly 200 individuals. Dr. Antonio Saravia, assistant professor of economics and director of the BB&T Center, compiled the results, which can be viewed here.

“This is the fourth edition of the survey, and by now, we can see an interesting pattern. Despite experiencing positive six-month periods in terms of several indicators of profitability, businesses in Middle Georgia remain always cautiously optimistic about the next period,” said Dr. Saravia.

“In all of the editions of the survey, the majority of businesses do not identify the next six-month period as a good time to expand their operations. This has, of course, a negative impact on their investment and hiring decisions. One can speculate that this outlook indicates that businesses in the region do not see yet an economic recovery robust enough to induce risk-taking. In addition, respondents continue to identify government regulations and/or red tape, taxes and the quality of labor as the top obstacles to their business activities.”

Respondents represented considerable variety in terms of company size, geography and industry. Most were small businesses under 10 employees, which accounted for 46 percent of the total number of respondents. The majority had principal offices located in Bibb (39 percent), Houston (30 percent) and Monroe (15 percent) counties. Respondents represented a very wide range of industries, led by retail trade (13 percent), finance and insurance (13 percent), professional and technical services (9 percent), and health care and social services (9 percent).

The BB&T Center for Undergraduate Research in Public Policy and Capitalism plans to conduct the survey and publish its results two times per year.

For more information on the survey, contact Dr. Saravia at (478) 301-5541 or

About the Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics

Established in 1984, Mercer University's Eugene W. Stetson School of Business and Economics is named for Eugene W. Stetson, a 1901 Mercer graduate and business pioneer who leveraged the first major buyout in corporate history. Over the past 80 years, Mercer has granted over 12,000 business degrees, and many of its graduates hold senior leadership positions in companies around the world. Mercer's business school delivers career-focused business education programs and develops entrepreneurial leaders and responsible global citizens. It holds accreditation from the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which places it among the top five percent of all top business schools worldwide. Mercer's business school has been recognized by the Princeton Review for “Greatest Opportunity for Minority Students” and “Greatest Opportunity for Women” as well as being one of its “Best Business Schools.” In addition, it has been recognized among the “Top 15 Schools in the Nation for Marketing and Accounting.” The School offers the following programs: Atlanta (Evening BBA, Full-Time (One-Year) MBA, Evening MBA, Executive MBA, Professional MBA, Master of Accountancy, M.S. in Business Analytics), Macon (Traditional BBA and Evening MBA), Douglas County and Henry County (Evening BBA).