By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services, for the Yuma Sun
The assessments came from staffers at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University ahead of the annual outlook luncheon sponsored by the Economic Club of Phoenix.
Robert Mittelstaedt, dean of the business school, said the economy is being bolstered by improved consumer confidence. That, in turn, means people [are] spending more money.
Professor Lee McPheters pointed to the sharp improvement in job growth in Arizona.
In 2010, he said, the state was 49th in the rate of job growth for the whole nation.
â€œLast year for the whole year, we ended up in the mid-20s,” McPheters continued. â€œAnd the latest numbers we have for March rank Arizona No. 8,” with Arizona adding 47,000 new jobs in the past 12 months.
Dennis Hoffman, another ASU professor, says, â€œI’m really quite optimistic about the economy, regardless of who sits in that office,” he said.
Mittelstaedt said a global recession would drag down the U.S. economy.
But one thing that does not worry Mittelstaedt is the price of gasoline â€” and not just because prices have backed off recently from the $4-a-gallon range. He said while such numbers were considered outrageous only a few years ago, they no longer shock consumers.
In essence, he said, people have adjusted to the â€œnew normal.”
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