Despite the sharp drop in the national GDP to 32.9 percent, Mississippi’s revenue decline isn’t as steep as some other states due to the coronavirus. That’s according to a state economic analyst.
Mississippi’s economy is holding up better than officials thought it would several months ago according to Corey Miller. The economic analyst with the Mississippi Institution of Higher Learning says during the statewide shutdown unemployment spiked to 16.3 percent in April. In June it dropped to 8.7. He says it won’t get much better than that.
“I think the real issue is when you have a recession that was caused by a virus, the way to fix that is with a cure for the virus. Until that happens, I don’t think Mississippi’s economy or the national economy’s going to come all the way back,” said Miller.
But Miller says Mississippi is faring better than other states like Hawaii and Nevada, which rely on tourism. The state’s leisure and hospitality industries have suffered job and revenue losses according to the analyst, but manufacturing and the government sector haven’t seen a sharp drop in revenue. He says sales tax collections are higher this month than the same time last year. Miller thinks the $600 federal unemployment pandemic supplement may be behind the increase.
“I think if you look at some of our sales tax numbers, those have been surprisingly strong. In the past two or three, four months, and that may have something to do with it. That’s a question I think economist around the country are asking,” said Miller.
Miller says businesses are closing as a result of the pandemic and he does expect the state’s GDP, which is the value of goods and services produced, to be as much as 25 percent.