Rossell: Atlanta's Going To Be Hot. I Mean It.
Houston's bane is Atlanta's gain. At least that's how former CNBC chief economist Marci Rossell sees it. Marci was on tap earlier this week to give her annual economic prognostications during CREW Atlanta and CoreNet Global's 2015 Economic Forecast Luncheon at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Unlike years past, when Marci tried her best to be encouraging to the Atlanta business community, this time she didn't have to try. And that's partly because the collapse in oil prices has been a boon to the average Atlantans' pocketbook. “It's like everybody in town is getting a bonus from their jobs,” Marci says.
Oil prices were only the tip of her optimistic iceberg for metro Atlanta. “Atlanta never really recovered from the downturn in the 1990s. I think finally this is the turning point,” she told Bisnow in an exclusive interview. With job growth topping 100,000 last year, Marci predicts the metro area could top 140,000 new jobs this year. And that could be coupled with strong wage growth, especially when unemployment hits 5.5% (it's now at 6.5%). “I think we'll be stunned this year at how quickly wages start to rise.” Mercedes-Benz moving its HQ to Atlanta also has a huge “psychological” impact on Atlanta. “It feels like the old Atlanta, that old combination of grit, determination and glamour, that's something Mercedes brings back."