Local economy seems to be picking up

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - David Ingram's story may be an indicator the economy in the River Region is beginning to turn for the better.

"We were pleasantly surprised," said Ingram.

Ingram runs the Jack Ingram VW dealership in east Montgomery and he says October was by far the best one-month performance in 3 years; sales up 20% compared to the same month one year ago.

"We get the sense people are a little more optimistic and maybe the economy is getting a little better," Ingram said.

And Ingram's not alone.

Prattville's sales tax revenues jumped more than 7%. To the east in Wetumpka, that city's October receipts increased by $10,000,  a small increase but encouraging.

Millbrook on the other hand dropped a little more than 2% over the same period. Millbrook leaders tell WSFA 12 News they're 'not reading too much into that.'

The real estate market in the River Region is a different story altogether.

"Home sales are down and we believe people are still worried about the national economy," said Slade McElroy, a Montgomery realtor and an officer with the Montgomery Area Association of Realtors.

In all a mixed bag but better than what it used to be.

For example, Montgomery County is reporting October sales revenues jumped nearly 6.2% while the entire state of Alabama edged up 1.7%. That by the way translates into $138 million dollars, all of which will go to the state's education trust fund.

When times were bad David Ingram had to let go 12 employees. That was a year and a half ago. Today, half of them are back on the job at the dealership.

"November is starting to look good, too," Ingram said.

David Ingram is the first to admit he's not sure just why sales shot up or even whether it's a new trend but he does know this; he's not complaining.

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