Arizona continues to recover, with industries such as business services, educational services, leisure and hospitality leading the way. That was just one of the positive signs that emerged from Economic Outlook 2016, presented by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and Cox Communications. Nearly 825 business leaders attended the 33nd annual event at the Arizona Biltmore on Wednesday, September 2, 2015, to hear insightful analysis of the state of the global economy, national economic indicators, economic challenges facing our state and what opportunities lie ahead for Arizona’s economy.
Attendees gained insight from local, national and global economic experts, including presentations by David Brancaccio, host of American Public Media’s Marketplace Morning Report, local Valley economist Elliott Pollack of Elliott D. Pollack & Company, and financial markets expert Jim Huntzinger of BOK Financial.
In an exclusive GPCCTV video, Pollack features the highlights in our local economy, shares how Arizona is doing in comparison to the rest of the country and gives his predictions on the local housing market.
Stated Pollack, “If you like 2015 so far, 2016 will be more of the same. But that’s not necessarily bad. The Phoenix metropolitan area is the 13th most rapidly growing metropolitan area in terms of economic activity. In comparison to the rest of the country, Arizona is doing okay. The local economy should continue to grow. The industries that are leading the way are business services, educational services, leisure and hospitality, followed by trade and wholesale. The manufacturing industry is lagging a little and the construction industry continues to lag quite a bit.”
Delivering the national perspective and some of the best news of the day was Jim Huntzinger, executive vice president and chief investment officer of BOK Financial.
“The U.S. economy is stable,” said Huntzinger. “There is no recession on the horizon.”
In an exclusive GPCCTV video, Huntzinger discusses the state of the U.S. economy and how the equity market is reflective of what’s going on in the overall economy, as well as job creation and the national unemployment rate.
Added Huntzinger, “Consumer confidence is growing. U.S. consumers are in a much better place than they were just six years ago. And the national economy is starting to look more normal with unemployment down to 5.3 percent.”
An award-winning journalist, David Brancaccio provided a global perspective and covered key international economic issues, as well as focused on examples of how global actions impact our own local economy. In this exclusive GPCCTV video of Brancaccio, he discusses how the U.S. economy is doing in comparison to the rest of the world and what we should expect to see for the 2016 economy.
“There’s a major shift going on with emerging market countries,” stated Brancaccio. “I expect the Federal Reserve is going to raise interest rates very soon. That means returns will be higher in this country. It also means that as money flows out of emerging market countries, it will cause some hardship in these countries.”
Added Brancaccio, “Europe is probably somewhat on the mend. The great crisis in Greece is not over, but at least there’s some structure for dealing with it.”
“The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce is proud to work with a strong community partner like Cox Communications to provide the latest research and expert analysis on our financial climate and present the state of the economy from a local, national and international perspective to business leaders across the Valley,” stated Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce. “Although recovery in the housing market has been slow, it’s very good news that U.S. economic conditions have stabilized and that there is no recession in the near future. I am also confident that Arizona’s economy will continue to improve and we’ll see a respectable rate of growth in 2016.”
The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce has been hosting Economic Outlook since 1982 to provide the community an opportunity to learn about the global, national and local economic indicators. The Chamber’s Annual Report, which provides an informative look at how the Chamber works on behalf of its members, was presented during Economic Outlook 2016. New this year, the Chamber’s Phoenix Forward Aggregated Summary Report was also presented during Economic Outlook 2016, which communicates the Chamber’s commitment to supporting local businesses in their efforts to grow and expand.
Added Sanders, “Last year at this event, I presented the fundamentals of the Chamber’s work to create a more robust economic development program through an initiative called Phoenix Forward. Through this initiative, we are helping to retain and expand Arizona businesses. Our partners, including the City of Phoenix, Maricopa County and the Arizona Commerce Authority, are essential to this mission and it is truly a collaborative effort.”
Business is looking strong in Phoenix. Together the Chamber, the City of Phoenix and the Arizona Commerce Authority conducted 363 business visits in a six-month period. During these visits, companies indicated the following anticipated growth:
• 7,812 new jobs – primarily in advanced business services and health care
• These new jobs translate to $395 million in payroll and 2.4 million square feet in new building space
• The average wage of these new jobs is $51,000, well above the average for the region
Concluded Sanders, “We’re very excited to continue the work we’re doing with our partners and the business community to ensure we are truly moving Phoenix forward.”