ATLANTA – Georgia’s economy keeps chugging along even as problems overseas make global headlines, according to an economic report issued Wednesday.

Gyrations in the stock market, reaction to China’s currency devaluation and a slowdown there are not seriously harming the overall Peach State economy, according to Rajeev Dhawan, director of the Economic Forecasting Center at Georgia State University.

“The key factor is that companies, despite the jittery stock market and poor results in earnings last year, will keep hiring,” Dhawan wrote in his quarterly forecast released Tuesday. “If they pause, income gains will slow and fretful households will save even more, causing a slowdown.”

He said Georgia’s domestic consumption, which he termed “healthy,” is fueling continued hiring growth in the sectors of trade, hospitality, education/healthcare and government.

The slowdown in China, the world’s second-largest economy behind the United States, will weaken prospects for Georgia companies that export. Those manufacturers with primarily U.S. customers will still see consistent demand from consumers, Dhawan’s forecast predicts.

Georgia added more jobs in the last three months of 2015 than in the previous nine months which were rather tepid. That fourth-quarter momentum was temporary, and in 2016 he is predicting payrolls around the state will expand by 76,000 jobs compared to last year’s 96,300. And last year represented a 145,000 decline from 2014.

Still, that would give Georgia a 2.3 percent growth in jobs.


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