The economic growth experienced in both the nation and North Carolina in 2013 is forecasted to continue into 2014, at a somewhat accelerated pace. Several factors will support the improvement, including a solid recovery in the housing market, repaired household finances, and an upswing in business hiring.

The broadest measure of the national economy – real gross domestic product – is expected to grow by 2.75% in 2014. Between 2.5 and 2.8 million
net new jobs will be created nationally, and the national unemployment rate will fall to between 6.0 and 6.5% by year’s end. The Federal Reserve, under
new chairwoman Janet Yellen, will likely begin to “taper” their stimulative monetary policy, resulting in upward pressure on interest rates and more
cautious advances in the financial markets.

North Carolina’s job growth has been improving in recent years, and this trend will continue in 2014 with the state seeing over 100,000 new net jobs
created. Consequently, the state jobless rate will drop to between 6.5 and 7.0 percent by the end of 2014. Some regions of the state, such as the Triangle and Asheville, will have unemployment rates near 5 percent by the conclusion of 2014. These regions, plus Charlotte, will enjoy job growth significantly above both the state and national averages.