With a rapidly changing national economy and continuously evolving market trends, staying in the know about current economic projections has never been more important than today. This is why the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber) and corporate partners, including APS and Wells Fargo, hosted experts to meet with Chamber Premier Members to lead this important discussion.

On April 5, the Chamber hosted Sean McCarthy, Regional Chief Investment Officer, Southwest with Wells Fargo and Tom Sullivan, Vice President of Small Business Policy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Both McCarthy and Sullivan provided valuable economic insights that directly impact Arizona’s businesses and the Chamber’s members.

During his remarks, McCarthy highlighted key, trending numbers for the Greater Phoenix region and the Southwest region at large. Specifically, he focused on real estate, unemployment and wages, and overall industry health:

  • Home values in Phoenix over the past year are up by about 6%. Moreover, there is approximately a three month supply in the home purchase market.
  • In 2009, the unemployment rate was approximately 10% and represented 15 million Americans and 2.4 million job openings. The current unemployment rate is 4.1%.
  • More people are entering the labor force; the labor participation rate is currently 63% and moving in the right direction.
  • Wage growth is 2.9%.
  • Phoenix has the fastest growing wages for a metro-area in the country.

Both McCarthy and Sullivan emphasized small business as an economic driver and discussed how the recent federal tax reform provided a small confidence boost. Key takeaways for businesses included:

  • Small businesses are optimistic.
  • They contribute approx. $8.5 trillion annually to the economy.
  • Full and immediate expensing in the tax reform package helps businesses—of all sizes—reap the immediate economic benefit of fixed investments into their businesses.
  • Tax reform was an accomplishment, but unless every small business owner knows how to fully maximize those benefits and changes under the tax code, it is not a victory.

McCarthy and Sullivan are optimistic about the health of Arizona’s economy in relation to the Southwest region of the U.S.

Looking to get a holistic view of the economy at every level? Then mark your calendar for Tuesday, September 25, 2018, and join the Chamber for Economic Outlook 2019. Economic experts will provide updates on key economic trends at the state, national and global levels. Event sponsorships are now available. For information, please contact Miranda Cain-Morton at mcain@phoenixchamber.com.

Posted by Danny Imes