ODU State of the Commonwealth: Virginia’s economy improves, but “storms clouds on the horizon”

NORFOLK, Va. - Old Dominion University has released their fourth annual State of the Commonwealth report that paints a picture of an improving Virginia economy, but cautions trouble could be ahead.

The good news, according to report authors, is that Virginia's economy picked up the pace in 2018 and will likely grow even further in 2019. This after a rough stretch following the Great Recession and the impacts of sequestration.

"2018 is going to be a great year for Virginia. Economic growth has finally reached back to the levels we saw prior to the Great Recession. In other words, we are performing about the same level as the United States, finally," Dr. Bob McNab, lead author of the report shared with News 3 anchor Todd Corillo.

The report points to that fact that 2017 was the first year since 2006 that all of the metropolitan areas in Virginia saw positive economic growth from the year before.

It cautions though that trouble could be ahead, calling federal spending "a blessing and a curse for Virginia."

It says with nearly 30% of economic activity in Virginia tied to federal government spending, the economic fate of the commonwealth is often tied to politics in D.C.

To combat this, the report suggests "the challenge now is to continue to enact wise policies to foster and sustain economic growth while preparing for the next eventual downtown."

You can read the entire State of the Commonwealth report here.