2007 Revisited - Prediction 1

2007 Revisited - Prediction 1

Back in October of 2007, I was asked to make a few predictions about the future of retail development in the Southeast. I researched diligently and made prognostications to an attentive audience at the Southeast ICSC conference in Atlanta. At the time, we were in the early throes of recession. We all believed that we were hitting a minor speed bump and that we would soon be back on track.

Well, here we sit on the edge of 2012 and that same sluggish economy persists here in the Southeast and Nationwide. I thought it might be interesting to look back at the predictions made and judge how accurate or off base they might have been. Over the next few weeks, I will recap each of the 6 predictions and ask you what you think.

The first of the predictions made in 2007 was as follows (drum roll and anticipation):

  • Southeastern U.S. growth would remain red hot adding 50 million new residents by 2025. Florida (100%), North Carolina (52%) and Georgia (46%) would lead the pack in growth rates.

So, looking back, how did I do with this prediction? Pride-fully, I want to note that I have 13 more years to measure before declaring my predictions a success or failure. 2025 was the benchmark date after all. That said, let’s engage in more prognostication and look at how I did.

- Prediction #1 – Seems that, for now, this prediction was a gross overestimate. The Southeast certainly seems to hold the promise of growth, but it’s not happening to any great extent right now. Florida has lost population and Georgia and North Carolina have grown at a snail’s pace. Verdict – Wrong (for now)

Ok, so I missed the biggie! Population growth has really slowed and relocations from other parts of the country to the Sun Belt have slowed. Maybe we can still catch up, but I kind of doubt it. I think we’ll grow here in the SE, but 50 million was a BIG number! Let me know what you think via Twitter @RetailJeff. I look forward to hearing your predictions. Look next Friday for Prediction #2!