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(WBIR) Overall, 2013 was a good year for the the economy in the state and the nation. And experts are predicting an even better year for 2014.

Knoxville Chamber president, Mike Edwards, said the area's unemployment is at six percent, housing closures are up by 30-percent, Knox County's sales tax is up, and the regional sales tax rising by about two percent.

Edwards said Knoxville companies, primarily manufacturing companies, are at full employment and expanding with many adding second and third shifts.

"2013 showed very strong movement in the economy for this region and I think that pretty much mirrors what happened in the United States as well," said Edwards.

Dr. Bill Fox, director of UT's Center for Business and Economic Research agrees.

"It wasn't the economy all of us would love to see, but there was pretty good growth," he said.

Fox said 2013 was a good year for the national economy. The United States finished last year with a two percent growth rate and an inflation rate below two percent. When it comes to 2014, Fox believes the U.S.'s economic acceleration will continue.

"Most have the expectation that 2014 will be a much better year, with growth that's more 2.5% - 3%, somewhat faster, with inflation still staying in the relatively low terms," Fox said.

East Tennessee's economy is expected to continue doing better in 2014, as well.

"I see nothing that's going to stumble this growth," said Edwards.

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