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Economists Forecasts Strong Growth

Graph credit: UA Eller College of Management

By Karen Schutte for Real Estate Daily News

Tucson’s economic growth is expected to outpace the national economy by 2017. That was the key message at the University of Arizona Eller College of Management 2015 Mid-Year Economic Breakfast Wednesday at the Westin La Paloma Resort.

More than 300 people attended the event to hear presenters George W. Hammond, Ph.D., director and research professor at UA Eller’s Economic and Business Research Center and Roberto Coronado, Ph.D., assistant vice president and senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of the Dallas-El Paso branch, give a mid-year assessment of economic condition related to job growth, the housing sector, gas prices, and economic relations with Mexico.

Hammond, who predicted in December 2014 that Tucson’s job growth would gradually improve by 2016, said job growth is predicted to accelerate from 0.5 percent last year to 0.9 percent this year, and rise to 1.4 percent in 2016. Job growth is expected to continue in 2017, helping to fuel Tucson’s economy and begin to outpace the national average.

The Federal fiscal drag has diminished, but continues to weigh on the local economy. It is now joined by fiscal drag from the state and local sector.

Arizona exports to Mexico rose by 22.2 percent in 2014. However, the recent appreciation of the U.S. dollar versus the peso has slowed state export growth in 2016. The dollar/peso exchange rate is up by 16.3 percent from April 2014.

Gas prices hare helping fuel the economy. Lower gas prices are increasing the funds available to households to spend and save. If prices remain $1 per gallon below 2014 levels, it could free up $368 per person in Tucson. Preliminary indications suggest the U.S. households are choosing to save, rather than spend, a significant portion of those funds.

Hammond’s slide presentation can be viewed by going to Eller’s Economic and Business Research website.

Read more at Real Estate Daily News

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