It has taken me a couple of weeks to get to the March 2012 edition of Howard County Maryland Economic Indicators, a quarterly publication of the HoCo government and the HoCo Chamber of Commerce. The report is a pretty good snapshot of Howard County with sections on retail sales, banking, real estate (commercial and residential) agriculture, construction, technology and services.
The bottom line?
A mixed bag, some areas of the local economy are just okay while others are thriving. For example:
- HoCo new car dealers are expected to do well this year. The nationwide forecast for new car dealers “is for 8% growth in 2012.” HoCo loco new car dealers expect 12% growth.
- The average home price in HoCo in December 2011 was 4.4% higher than in December 2010, though homes priced “$600K and higher are still slow to move.”
- Banks have money to lend but “continue to be cautious about deploying assets.”
- The number of loco building permits issued in December 2011 were 7.6% higher than for the same period a year earlier but so far, 2012 year to date, has seen a 3.7% decrease from the prior year.
The county coffers are getting fat again too. Fiscal year to date income tax revenues are up 25% “above FY 11 levels through the same period.