COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Economic experts from the University of Georgia were in Columbus Wednesday hosting their 40th annual Georgia Economic Outlook at the Trade Center.

The Economic Outlook is a chance to learn which sectors of Georgia’s economy will rise above the turbulence in 2023. 

According to Ben Ayers, the Dean of Terry College of Business at UGA, there is a 75% chance of a recession on the horizon in the peach state. He predicts it will be mild and last about 6 months. Ayers adds that Georgia’s economy is set to be much better than the rest of the country. 

“In many ways, Georgia’s economy is very strong.” said Ayers. “Our state has been recognized as a top state in which to do business on 9 years in a row. Economic development in the state will play a key role to make sure that even in a slight downturn, that the state of Georgia will continue to outperform the nation.”

Jerald Mitchell, the President and CEO of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, was another keynote speaker at the event. Mitchell spoke to the economic forecast for Columbus. He says there are three major sectors that are helping the Columbus economy. 

It is projected that Fort Benning will continue to be a driving factor for the year along with Columbus State University and the addition of the new Mercer University Medical School.   

While the state is expected to undergo a mild recession, Mitchell says supporting local businesses is essential to strengthening the local economy. 

“The biggest thing again is shop local,” said Mitchell. “These small businesses are the lifeblood of our community. We have to continue to support them. Not only for the pure viability for the businesses, but we want them to be in a posture that, when it makes sense, they can hire more people. That is essential to our economy continuing to thrive.”

The main economic sectors that will continue to grow this year are healthcare, education, professional business services and government spending. Housing, financial activities and mining and logging will be hit the worst, experiencing the largest job loss.