Thursday, February 14, 2008

Charlotte's economy pinched?

Is the economy pinching you?

As my colleague Mark Washburn pointed out in Wednesday’s paper, the effects of the economic slowdown making national headlines are finally being felt here.

Growing up in Charlotte, I’ve always taken pride in the fact that our economic growth has been so strong, we usually don’t feel slowdowns the way the rest of the country does.

But it’s becoming increasingly clear that construction cranes are slowing down, gas prices are crimping commuters and people who list their houses for sale are having a harder time than usual.

I recently added a commute to my job with my switch from reporting to editing. Now I have to drive to our paper’s Matthews bureau office each day, instead of the five minutes from my Elizabeth home I used to drive to the main Observer building uptown. I’ve become increasingly conscious of conserving gas when possible – carpooling, combining errands, eating out somewhere I can walk to or staying in at night.

I used to enjoy taking a lunch hour at Target and leaving with unplanned purchases. No more.

And I figure it’s only a matter of time before we see more fallout among retailers and restaurants, especially the smaller mom-and-pops.

If you have any moneysaving tips to share, please post them on my colleague Celeste Smith’s new Deal of the Day blog.

Meantime, I’m interested in hearing how you’re feeling the economic slowdown. If you’re taking extra steps to pinch pennies, how has your life changed in recent months? How do you think things in Charlotte are changing? Let me know.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel fine.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been paring down my spending on entertainment for sure. I joined Netflix, in leu of theaters. We make most meals at home, and luckily we live in a building of close knit neighbors and we spend most weekends hanging out at home with our friends that live there. It also cuts down on cab fare (no drinking a driving, folks!)

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liegh I know Charlotte has been slowing down for the past year; I predicted to everyone I know a year ago we would be in this slowdown; I think its time to reverse tax breaks for anyone at this point; Liegh , North Carolina should have taken my advice on getting a car plant five years ago when I was fresh meat in the city. The Hyundai company has annouced a %19 percent gain . Liegh where I am from we have a HONDA plant and I dont think the have ever seen a slow day; GM is loosing money and by the way , the North Carolina State Pension fund was the largest holder of General Motors ; This is not good for Pension holders. I have urged the State years ago to drop them and buy Toyota or Honda stock. GM could be moved down here for cheaper labor and better engineering.

7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Construction eventually slows down real bad everywhere and VIOLA' here it is again. This time it will get hurt real bad but we are in a paper economy wher the dollar is a piece of paper and can be changed at any moment.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need a city coun cil who doesnt like to parade around tooting their horn. Many here in Government like to start off in the morning looking in the mirror at themselves and kissing their own hands up their arm. We need a City Council who makes sense of it all. When Im MAYOR Ill wear a pair of shorts and a plaid tee shirt and walk the streets and drive around in my old car looking for improvement. Lets fnish the Outerbelt and create a Business zone. Lets throw assholes picking up trash all day who cant walk the line. Lets build the Outerbelt with Prison labor to let them learn a trade.
Peter Piper

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about tootin' your own horn...

3:41 PM  
Blogger New Homes in the Carolinas said...

Will all the talk about dropping home prices, I was very surprised that I landed a job with Brentwood Homes, a "green" homebuilder in the carolinas. In spite of all the negativity, we are planning on building 4 new communities in the Charlotte region in the next 6 months.

2:30 PM  
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