AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Agriculture and forestry contribute $70.4 billion annually to Alabama’s economy and account for 22 percent of the state’s workforce, according to a study released today.
“The findings from this study are a powerful tool for our industry,” said Leigha Cauthen, executive director of the Alabama Agribusiness Council. “This research highlights the importance of agriculture to our state’s economy by providing reliable and credible facts we can use as advocates for the state’s farmers, agribusinesses and rural landowners.”
AUBURN – Timberland across the South is an economic fixture that supplies wood for houses, furniture, paper and the like and now is possibly generating funds for your retirement or favorite school.
The forests have become an attractive option for institutional investors – pension funds, retirement systems and even university endowments – far removed from the everyday planting, harvesting and replanting, says Auburn University forest economics professor Daowei Zhang.
The good part is that any investment in timberland contributes toward a thriving forest-products industry. Yet Zhang says the long-term effect of these short-term investments, typically lasting eight to 10 years, is unknown and is creating questions for industry analysts.
AUBURN – A recent Ask Alabama poll found an increasing level of pessimism among Alabamians regarding the economy. Only 44 percent of respondents told Auburn University pollsters that the economy will improve over the next 12 months, reflecting a drop of 11 percentage points since a comparable poll was taken last July.
The rising pessimism of consumers was the key finding of a telephone poll of 615 adults taken Jan. 4-14 by Auburn University’s Center for Governmental Services.
AUBURN – Auburn University’s Center for Governmental Services released statewide polling results today showing that many Alabama residents could be going hungry because of the prolonged recession.
A statewide survey of adults found that 27 percent believe that “a lot” of Alabama families are cutting the size of meals or are skipping mealtime altogether because of financial considerations. Another 36 percent said that “a fair number” of other families could be doing the same. Only one-third of those surveyed feel that eating habits have been generally unaffected by the economy.
AUBURN – With Alabama auto plants again churning out more cars and the federal “Cash for Clunkers” program drawing shoppers back to new-car showrooms, Alabama residents feel a turnaround coming. Auburn University’s Center for Governmental Services released statewide polling results today showing that Alabama residents believe the manufacturing sector is most likely to lead the state’s recovery from recession.
About one in three, or 33 percent, of Alabama residents expects manufacturers to provide the boost that brings back jobs and income to Alabama, hastening the end of the current economic downturn.
AUBURN – Auburn University’s Center for Governmental Services has released statewide polling results showing that many Alabama residents are suffering through this recession.
* 42 percent describe themselves as “struggling to make ends meet;”
* 47 percent say they are financially worse off today than a year ago;
* 19 percent of the state’s residents holding home mortgages worry that they will fall behind on their payments;
* 56 percent see interest rates for borrowers rising during the next 12 months; and
* 59 percent see more unemployment coming during the next 12 months.
– Contrasted with these downbeat opinions, however, are signs of hope for the state’s economy:
* 55 percent of the state’s residents say they’ll be better off financially a year from now. Nationally, less than one-third of Americans asked an identical question by the University of Michigan in June said their finances will be better off next year.
* 58 percent say they are either “living comfortably (52 percent) or doing “better than ever” (5 percent) in this recession.
*54 percent expect Alabama to come out of the recession at least as fast as the rest of the country.