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Economy’s Q3 Growth Boosts Local Businesses

The U.S. economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter as businesses restocked shelves, and Arizona businesses are noticing the uptick. A 2.8% boost from July to September has Valley business owners optimistic about the holiday season and the first quarter of 2014. Local restaurants, retail, real estate and even purveyors of luxury goods and services report a steady incline of consumer spending, some even reaching pre-economic downturn levels.

Dr. Daniel Shapiro, a Scottsdale-based plastic surgeon reports nearly 35% growth in 2013 over 2012. “As a board-certified sugeon that’s been practicing for 22 years, my schedule stayed busy despite the economic downturn…but over the last few months we’ve been forced to reinstate a waiting list that spans several months for surgery as well as a consult fee,” he said. “It’s evident that people have more money to spend now, and are more confident spending it,” he said.

Shapiro is just one Valley business owner that says the economy is on the upswing. Restaurant owners, many hit hard by the economic downturn are also saying that business is booming again. “Having owned restaurants in Arizona over the last 20 years, it’s easy to spot a trend when it’s happening,” said Dave Andrea, owner of Brat Haus in Old Town Scottsdale. “First it’s small things like patrons adding another round of drinks, or ordering dessert, when before they’d forgo those things in an effort to save money,” he said,

Both Andrea and Shapiro agree that people are splurging on themselves a little more now, whether it’s a long awaited nip and tuck or just a well-deserved dessert.

What’s fueling the Valley’s economic stability? The labor market continued to improve, but at a snail’s pace, government data showed. Across the country, gross domestic product expanded at a 2.8 percent annual rate, the quickest pace since the third quarter of 2012, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. It was an acceleration from a 2.5 percent clip in the second quarter and beat economists’ expectations for a 2.0 percent rate.

DECO Communities, a Scottsdale-based real estate development company just announced completion of two new urban renewal projects which transform infill properties into stylish and modern apartment homes called Cabana Modern Apartment Homes. With 4 properties completed in the last 16 months, the company says real estate is on the upswing as well. “There is a high demand for the kind of development we are doing,” said Rob Lyles, partner for DECO Communities, “And the outlook for real estate development and growth in Arizona next year is exceptionally promising,” he said.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, expanded at a 1.5 percent rate, slowest pace since the second quarter of 2011. It grew at a 1.8 percent rate in the April-June period.  With the news of economic growth at the start of the holiday season and the ‘high-season’ for Valley tourism, business owners are exceptionally optimistic about the Q1 2014 economic reports as well.