SC Industry Sectors Saw Economic Growth in 2021

Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, at least two major industry sectors in South Carolina saw significant growth last year.

“Despite persistent industry challenges in 2021, consumer demand for our products remained strong,” said Anders Gustafsson, vice president of the Americas for Volvo Cars, which builds the S60 sedan at a $1.2 billion manufacturing campus in Berkeley County.

German automaker BMW, which builds its X-model SUVs in the Upstate, saw a 20.8 percent jump in North American sales in 2021 compared to the previous year, to 336,644 vehicles.

Hotels in the Palmetto State took a hard hit because of COVID-19 in 2020, but they didn’t perform quite as poorly as lodgings in the U.S. overall. Hotel occupancy nationwide that year was 44 percent, and revenue per room dropped 46 percent year-over-year.

But from March through August 2021, South Carolina outpaced the U.S. on occupancy and room rates. The state’s lead was largest in April when hotels in South Carolina were filling about 68 percent of their rooms versus 58 percent across the United States. Revenue per room in South Carolina that month was also more than $20 higher than the U.S. figure.

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