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For Immediate Release: January 17, 2013


Greg Grootendorst, Chief Economist



Julia Hillegass, Public Information and Community Affairs Administrator

(757) 420-8300; 







HRPDC Releases 2013 Economic Forecast


(Hampton Roads, Va., January 17, 2013) - The Hampton Roads Planning District Commissiontoday approved the 2013 Economic Forecast for Hampton Roads.  Chief Economist Greg Grootendorst presented his analysis which looked at the Hampton Roads economic situation and outlook, as well as comparing this area to other metropolitan regions in the U.S. with a population of one to three million. 


          "Higher payroll taxes will likely impact retail sales as consumers have less disposable income," said Grootendorst.  "Also of note, the housing market is beginning to recover even though short sales continue to increase.  Energy prices are expected to remain low, as are inflation and interest rates.  While corporate balance sheets remain strong, unemployment is expected to improve slightly in the year ahead.  Other factors creating uncertainty include the national debt ceiling, sequestration and potential labor action at the ports.  Overall, the region can expect modest, positive economic growth in the coming year."


About the HRPDC: The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC), one of 21 Planning District Commissions in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a regional organization representing this area's sixteen local governments. Planning District Commissions are voluntary associations and were created in 1969 pursuant to the Virginia Area Development Act and a regionally executed Charter Agreement. The HRPDC was formed in 1990 by the merger of the Southeastern Virginia Planning District Commission and the Peninsula Planning District Commission. The HRPDC represents over 1.6 million people in the 16 localities of Hampton Roads, Virginia, including the cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg, and the counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Southampton, Surry, and York.