Growth. That word was repeated several times by the top economic experts who presented during the Chamber’s Economic Outlook ’18 breakfast presented with Cox Communications on Sept. 29.
Veteran Arizona economist Elliott Pollack, CEO of Elliott D. Pollack & Company, Jim Huntzinger, executive vice president & chief investment officer of BOK Financial and Stacey Vanek Smith of NPR’s Planet Money delivered insightful and entertaining presentations and forecasts on everything business owners need to prepare for a successful 2018.
Pollack predicts continued growth in employment, population and the housing market in 2018. Huntzinger expects slow economic growth nationally, dropping unemployment and continued low interest rates. Vanek Smith noted how geopolitical forces are likely to be a major factor shaping the global economy and told a story highlighting the unintended consequences of one country’s efforts to boost local manufacturing by limiting imports and exports.
In case you missed it, here are the top 5 takeaways from the event.
1. Federal tax policy will have major implications. Both Huntzinger and Pollack focused on tax policy – more specifically the extent of corporate tax cuts – as a major player in directing the economy in 2018.
2. Arizona employment & population growth will continue. Pollack expects slow but steady growth in employment, driven largely by the Greater Phoenix region. Also Phoenix recently surpassed Philadelphia to become the fifth largest U.S. city and Maricopa County was the fastest growing county last year. Pollack expects our growth rate to increase in 2018.
3. Strong Arizona industries will continue to drive growth. Pollack identified the professional services, leisure and hospitality, education and health services and financial sectors as “the mainstay of economic growth both nationally and certainly in Arizona.”
4. National economic growth will continue slowly. Huntzinger predicts 1.5% – 2% growth this year.
5. National unemployment will fall. Huntzinger thinks unemployment will drop below 4%.
A big thank you to Cox Communications, APS, Bank of Arizona, Fingerpaint and Southwest Airlines and all of the Economic Outlook ’18 sponsors who enabled us to put on a great, informative event.