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Arizona’s First Quarter 2018 Economic Outlook

Arizona’s First Quarter 2018 Economic Outlook (George Hammond Ph.D., Eller Business College)

The Arizona economy slowed down some at the end of 2017 with job growth just below the national rate. Even with slowing, the state does continue to expand, adding jobs, residents, and income, although it has been slow. The Phoenix MSA is the engine of growth for Arizona. Tucson is contributing, but at a slower pace. According to George Hammond with the Eller Business College at the University of Arizona, Arizona is likely to continue to sustain growth at similar rates that we have seen the past eight or nine years as long as the national economy continues to expand.

According to the latest population estimates from the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, Arizona’s population hit 6.966 million in 2017. Researchers say that Arizona added 99,700 residents for a 1.5% rate of growth. The Tucson MSA added 8,600 residents in 2017.

Housing permit activity was on the increase in 2017 and continues to increase in 2018. Arizona total housing permits were up 6.8% in 2017. The increases are because of single-family permit activity.

Per capita income in Arizona remained well below the national average. In 2016, Arizona’s per capita income was 16.8% below the US. Per capita income in the Phoenix MSA was 12.2% below the US, while the Tucson MSA was 19.5% below the nation.

The state outlook depends on national economic performance. As we enter the second half of the second quarter of 2018 Gross Domestic Product data has a lower forecast than for 2016 and 2017. Tucson job growth is forecast to generate job growth of 1.3% in 2018. Overall, if the US economy continues to grow, Arizona is likely to generate sustained gains in jobs, income, and population at rates above the national average. For more economic information about Tucson please go to the Eller Business School website and search Economic News Reports: https://ebr.eller.arizona.edu/