Fitch hands Charlotte a glowing report card

Posted by Dynon on April 6, 2015

Fitch Ratings has last month reported strong financial ratings for the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. In its report, the global credit ratings and research leader pointed to the city’s sound resident income metrics and its position as a major transportation, banking and commercial center for the southeast US.


[Image: Charlotte NC, on the map and charting upwards]

In its 30 March press release, Fitch stated that it expects “Charlotte's position as a regional center for trade, transportation, health care, and financial services will contribute to a general trend of economic growth and stability over time.” Drawing on a range of data, the research confirmed Charlotte’s place among the fastest growing cities in the US.

The Fitch report echoes what a number of commentators have been saying of Charlotte recently. In a December 2014 article in the Charlotte Business Journal, North Carolina State economist Mike Walden said, "We're looking at the best year in terms of economic growth that we've had in almost a decade."

Walden forecasted that 30,000 net new jobs could be created in metro Charlotte in 2015.

Charlotte’s employment statistics are indeed leading the way. Total employment in the city has increased at a compound annual growth rate of 2.2% from 2005-2014, compared to 0.6% for North Carolina and 0.4% nationally. Job growth is forecast at 2.9% in 2016, ranking Charlotte among the fastest growing large metropolitan areas in the US.

North Carolina continues to rank among the top four states in the US for net in-migration. This translates into new investment and jobs.

Unsurprisingly, unemployment hit a low 4.4% in December 2014. Charlotte attracts a highly educated workforce, with almost 40% of the adult-age population holding a bachelor's degree or higher (equivalent to 140% of the US average).

Recent expansion in the technology, pharmaceutical and energy sectors has the potential to boost already above-average incomes. The city’s per capita money income and median household income are well above the North Carolina average. No wonder the US Home Buying Institute assessed in late December 2014 that home prices in Charlotte “are expected to continue rising for the foreseeable future.”