Tag Archives: Anthony Chan

An Aerial Shot of Downtown Tucson, Arizona

Experts: Tucson economy is set to grow in 2015

Things are looking up for Tucson, with an economy that is set to grow in 2015 and 2016. That was one of the key takeaways from today’s University of Arizona Eller College of Management annual Economic Outlook Forecast Luncheon at the Westin La Paloma Resort in Tucson. Some 540 people packed the room to hear presenters George W. Hammond, director and research professor at Eller’s Economic and Business Research Center, and Anthony Chan, Chase chief economist, share their predictions regarding job growth, the housing sector, the stock market, interest rates and more.

Despite some stumbling at the start of 2014, the year behind us helped set the stage for growth. To put things into perspective, Anthony Chan spoke first, providing an in-depth analysis of the national and global economy.

“In 2015, we expect more support from the central banks of Europe and China and less support from the United States. Such action is likely to generate faster global growth and better performing equity markets in Europe as the Euro-zone recovers to something approaching 1 percent growth,” Chan said. “As for China, we expect some improvement despite the effects of restructuring of that economy, but acknowledge that financial markets have already front-loaded some of the expected positive monetary and fiscal policy effects.”
In the case of the United States, Chan said growth closer to 3 percent is likely as the current growth momentum spills over into 2015, especially as faster consumer spending is supported by the recent plunge in energy prices.
“Finally, led by Brazil, we expect that Latin America will continue to lag the overall improvement in global economic growth,” he said.
Locally, Tucson’s economy is forecast to expand again next year and “even pick up a little steam,” according to Hammond. In his presentation, entitled “Battling Headwinds,” Hammond gave a comprehensive overview of current economic conditions, breaking down factors that slow growth and pointing to indicators that will fuel future acceleration.

Tucson added jobs and residents during the past year, continuing its recovery from the Great Recession. “The metropolitan area added 4,200 jobs during the past four quarters, which translates into a rate of 1.2 percent. That job growth is a positive sign, but it was below the state and national growth rates, of 2.0 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively,” he said.

Most of the job gains during the past year came in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, education and health services, and financial activities. Tucson experienced job losses in construction and manufacturing.

“Construction continues to be the missing link in the recovery, with employment running at levels last seen in the mid-1990s. Slow population and household gains have dampened residential real estate activity during the past year,” Hammond said.

Also dragging down local growth has been significant federal fiscal drag, in the form of declining employment and reduced federal procurement spending. Federal fiscal drag affects Tucson more than the nation as a whole, because federal activity (civilian and military) is a larger share of the local economy. “Indeed, according to the latest data, the federal government sector accounted for 7.7 percent of Tucson’s gross domestic product in 2012, more than double the national share,” he said.

The outlook calls for Tucson job growth to gradually improve, rising from 0.8 percent in 2014 to 1.3 percent by 2016. That reflects modest improvements in net migration and less federal fiscal drag. Rising job and population growth raise income gains, which support additional local spending.

During his presentation, Hammond encouraged the audience to utilize the new Making Action Possible for Southern Arizona (MAP) interactive website, mapazdashboard.arizona.edu. The project, which launched on Dec. 5, is a partnership between Eller’s Economic and Business Research Center, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, and the Southern Arizona Leadership Council.
The goal of the website is to measure progress and inspire action. MAP users will find real-time data visualization and analysis for 36 socio-economic indicators grouped into six categories: Economy, Education, Health and Social Well-Being, Infrastructure, Quality of Place, and Workforce and Demographics. Users can compare Southern Arizona to the U.S., states in the West, and select metropolitan areas.

“There are so many ways MAP can benefit our community. Examine the data to drive business decisions, build collaboration or cross-sector partnerships,” Hammond said. “Or, analyze the data to help shape and pursue effective policies or seek external funding opportunities.”

Hammond closed his presentation with an upbeat prediction. “Overall, Tucson continues to battle headwinds, but the local economy is growing and moving forward,” he said.

For more information or to view Dr. Hammond’s slide presentation, visit Eller’s Economic and Business Research website, ebr.eller.arizona.edu.

economy

Arizona Could Hit Full Economic Recovery in 3 Years

We’re finally on the path to full economic recovery, and Arizona may get there in about three years. That’s the main message from experts who spoke today at the 49th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon co-sponsored by Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business and JPMorgan Chase.

About 1,000 people attended the event at the Phoenix Convention Center, where economists painted a generally brighter picture for 2013.

“As of September, Arizona ranked fifth among states for job growth, and the Phoenix area was fourth among large metropolitan areas,” said Research Professor Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “Arizona is expected to add 60,000 jobs in 2013, led by professional and business services, retail, hospitality and health care. We should finally dip below 8-percent unemployment in 2013 — down to 7.6 percent.”

McPheters added, as long as the national economy doesn’t drag us down, Arizona may see 2.5-percent growth in its employment rate next year. The state had 2-percent growth this year. Despite the jump, Arizona has gained back less than a third of the jobs it lost during the recession. McPheters believes it will take another three years to return to pre-recession employment levels.

In 2013, McPheters expects improved 5-percent growth in personal income, up from just 4 percent this year. He projects retail sales will go up 6 percent, from 5 percent this year. He expects Arizona’s population to rise 1.5 percent, and he believes single-family housing permits will shoot up a whopping 50 percent, with the local housing market now on the mend.

Both McPheters and Beth Ann Bovino, deputy chief economist at Standard & Poor’s, hinged their forecasts on whether the national economy can really pull forward; otherwise, Arizona will go down, too. The biggest question out there is whether Congress can avoid the “fiscal cliff” – where automatic spending cuts would kick in, just as various tax cuts expire. Bovino says that could plunge the United States back into recession and push national unemployment back above 9 percent by the end of the year.

“If we can avoid the fiscal cliff, then it looks like the economy could finally be in a self-sustaining recovery,” said Bovino. “We expect this year’s gross domestic product (GDP) to hit 2.1 percent, stronger than previously projected. For 2013, we’re looking at about 2.3 percent. Reports also show a stronger jobs market and signs that households are willing to buy big items, such as cars and homes.”

Bovino adds the U.S. unemployment rate was at 7.9 percent in October, and she sees signs more people are joining the workforce and getting jobs. However, she says the labor participation rate is still near a 30-year low, meaning more people will still be coming back to the workforce to look for jobs, keeping the unemployment rate low for a quite a while. Despite this, Bovino expects the national unemployment rate to drop to 7.6 percent next year.

She also has a good outlook for the national housing market, with housing starts already up 45 percent this September over last September. Bovino referenced a report that 1.3 million homes rose above water – with the value going higher than what was owed – in the first half of this year alone. She expects residential construction to go up almost 19 percent in 2013.

In the financial sector, Anthony Chan, chief economist for private wealth management at JPMorgan Chase & Co., says corporations remain flush with cash. They’re waiting for some clarity on where the market will go as a result of the fiscal-cliff situation and other factors.

“U.S. corporations are reluctant to go through global mergers and acquisitions or make big investments until they have a clearer picture,” said Chan. “Corporations are keeping high cash balances, in order to deal with the uncertainty. They’re making near-record profits in some cases, and many values on the stock market look good. However, everyone’s waiting to see what will happen.”

He said high-yield investments, such as bonds, and gold remain relatively attractive. The U.S. dollar keeps falling against currencies from emerging markets, as monetary agencies work through different strategies of dealing with the rough economy.

In the local housing market, Elliott D. Pollack, chief executive officer of Scottsdale-based economic and real estate consulting firm Elliott D. Pollack and Company, also drew some conclusions.

“Even though about 40 percent of Arizona homeowners are underwater on their mortgages, we’re starting to see a recovery,” said Pollack. “The single-family-home and apartment markets look great. Industrial real estate has improved quite a bit. Only office and retail have quite a way to go.”

Pollack adds new residential foreclosure notices are down almost 70 percent from the peak in 2008. Phoenix-area home prices are up more than 35 percent over last year. New-home sales are also doing well, with 67 percent of the local subdivisions active today projected to be sold out in less than a year. Builders are going to have to work to meet the demand, with less land and labor available.

Pollack sees a strong rental presence, with about 22 percent of local single-family homes being used as rentals right now. That’s up from less than 12 percent just a decade ago. Landlords appear to be buying up many single-family homes, and more people are moving to the area.

“In the absence of a fiscal cliff, things should continue to improve over the next several years,” said Pollack. “By 2015, things should be normalized. As I like to say, we’re only one decent population-flow year away from the issue being resolved.”

More details and analysis from the event, including the presentation slides, are available from knowWPCarey, the business school’s online resource and newsletter, at http://knowwpcarey.com.

economy

2013 Economic Forecasts for U.S. & Arizona

Arizona’s economy improved somewhat this year, but what can we expect in 2013? Top experts on the U.S. and Arizona economies will deliver their forecasts for the state, nation, stock market and housing market at the Valley’s largest and most trusted economic-forecasting event on Dec. 5.

The 49th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon is co-sponsored by the Department of Economics at Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business and JPMorgan Chase. About 1,000 people are expected to attend the event at the Phoenix Convention Center.

“Arizona’s economic forecasters are patting themselves on the back, since their projections made a year ago appear to be accurate for 2012; the state seems certain to record about 2-percent job growth, and we are seeing the beginning of a housing comeback,” says Research Professor Lee McPheters, director of the JPMorgan Chase Economic Outlook Center at the W. P. Carey School of Business. “However, 2013 is a different story. A huge cloud of uncertainty is caused, not only by questions about what the next Congress will do, but also about how the overall U.S. economy will react to recession in Europe and slower growth in China. Though the national economy always has some impact on Arizona, until housing and population growth really pick up, the state seems destined to closely follow the national business cycle. If the U.S. economy contracts, then Arizona’s economy will, too. That’s the major risk we’re watching.”

Presentations will include forecasts on:

* Arizona and the regional economy from McPheters, who is also editor of the prestigious Arizona and Western Blue Chip Economic Forecast publications.
* The U.S. economy from Beth Ann Bovino, deputy chief economist at Standard & Poor’s, a widely quoted media expert with two decades of financial experience, including a position at the Federal Reserve.
* The financial sector from Anthony Chan, chief economist for private wealth management at JPMorgan Chase & Co., who served as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, appears monthly on CNBC and is a member of the Reuters, Bloomberg and Dow Jones weekly economic indicator panels.
* Real estate and construction from Elliott D. Pollack, chief executive officer of Elliott D. Pollack and Company, a highly regarded Scottsdale-based economic and real estate consulting firm.

The 49th Annual Economic Forecast Luncheon will be held in the Phoenix Convention Center’s West Ballroom on Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 11:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Admission is $90 per person. Proceeds are used to support student scholarships, faculty research, and other academic and professional activities in the Department of Economics at the W. P. Carey School of Business.

For more information, including registration details, go to www.wpcarey.asu.edu/efl or call (480) 965-3531.