Businesses and individuals struggled to recover from a battered economy in 2011 as threats of a double-dip recession loomed. Jobless rates stayed in double digits in South Carolina throughout much of the year. Retailers suffered with slow sales through the fall. And home-sellers were stuck as the real estate market remained depressed amid a rising tide of foreclosures.
But there were bright spots throughout the year that gave hope of a better 2012. And the state and the Midlands ended the year on a high note, with a jobless rate that fell dramatically in the last few months to 9.9 percent. Consumers spent more than they originally said they would for the holiday season. And home sales ended the year on a slight upswing.
Home sales continued to sputter in 2011 in the Midlands. The long-suffering real estate sector led the way into the Great Recession and has lagged in the recovery. But sales in the Columbia area – which had been declining steadily for years – seemed to hit bottom and began to bounce back up slightly toward the end of the year, showing their best performance in November with a 13 percent increase over November 2010.
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