‘People want to be here in Tennessee’ | Knoxville economy doing well while inflation rates rise

Economic experts said Knoxville is doing well in comparison to the nation.
Economic experts said Knoxville is doing well in comparison to the nation.
Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 11:40 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Inflation had its biggest rise this year. Consumer prices are up 3.7% in August compared to a year ago, but economic area experts are saying Knoxville is doing just fine.

“Some areas of the country are doing well and some areas of the country are really struggling right now,” said Don Bruce, Director of the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research at University of Tennessee. “Locally, I think it’s pretty easy to make the case that the economic indicators are a little bit stronger than they are nationally.”

Economic success can be attributed to several factors. The most obvious is the influx of people moving to Knoxville. Revenue for downtown businesses grew by nearly 20% between 2021 and 2022.

“People want to be here in Tennessee. We have a relatively lower cost of living than some really high-cost expensive areas people are moving away from,” Bruce said.

Bruce said Knoxville needs to keep up with the infrastructure demands that come with a larger population. If they don’t, it will create even more pressure on our housing market.

“Where we would expect long run pressure would be if we don’t do anything to acknowledge this growth. If we didn’t make the needed changes to allow for higher density housing, for example. Or if we don’t make the changes to account for higher traffic volumes,” Bruce said.

Bruce said the efforts the city is making now will help make the growth sustainable.