- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—Maury County is a top area in the state for having the highest investment in its local economy, according to a recently released study.

New York-based financial technology company SmartAsset examined Tennessee counties based on business growth during the last two years, inflation-adjusted GDP growth, new building permits and the five-year average of per capita municipal bond investment. The counties then were scored out of a possible 100-point scale.

Maury County landed at No. 3 on the list with an incoming investment index score of 49.52, according to the study. The county had a $221 million in GDP growth and 19.1 new building permits per 1,000 homes.

The area had $554 in municipal bonds per person.

“Maury County had a strong showing in our study. (The county) ranked third out of Tennessee’s 95 counties, and 86 out of 1,993 counties included in the study nationwide,” SmartAsset Managing Editor A.J. Smith said in an email. “Maury County was also among the state leaders in the new building permit category, ranking third in Tennessee for that specific category.”

Maury County lagged in the business growth section with a -0.5 percent rate. The nationwide average for business growth was 0.4 percent, while the state’s average was -1.7 percent, Smith said.

The local business presence is growing, and that percentage may be higher if the data was updated, Maury County Chamber and Economic Alliance President Wil Evans said.

He echoed the study’s findings that the area is poised for growth.

“I think being located where we are, having the available land and properties and a more economical advantage to the prices of those makes us a strong competitor,” Evans said. “This definitely solidifies the growth that we have seen in the last 18 months, at least.”

Williamson County topped the list with an incoming investment index score of 53.09 out of 100. Factored into that placement was a 1.5 percent business growth rate and $831 million in GDP growth.

The area also had 19.9 new building permits per 1,000 homes and $1,348 in municipal bonds per capita, according to the study.

Rounding out the top five was Wilson County at No. 2, Montgomery County at No. 4 and Rutherford County at No. 5.

In contrast, Tennessee had a GDP growth of $185 million, and four new building permits per 1,000 homes. The state also registered $660 in municipal bonds per capita.

SmartAssest’s study gathered data from the U.S. Census Bureau County Business Patterns Survey, U.S. Bureau Economic Analysis, U.S. Census Bureau Building Permits Survey and Bloomberg.

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(c)2015 The Daily Herald (Columbia, Tenn.)

Visit The Daily Herald (Columbia, Tenn.) at www.columbiadailyherald.com

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