Arizona State University economists predict more slow growth at forecast luncheon

TEMPE, AZ - Local experts are predicting another year of slow growth for Arizona's economy.

That may not sound so great, but economists at Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business say growth is getting stronger each year. Arizona is also recovering better than most other states, the economists said at the school's annual economic outlook luncheon on Thursday.

Last year, Arizona added 49,000 jobs. That number is expected to increase this year, when experts predict the state will add around 60,000. Economists predict the biggest growth areas will be construction, wholesale trade, information and technology, professional and business services, and leisure and hospitality. Arizona has regained 39-percent of the jobs lost in the recession.

According to the Blue Chip Consensus, personal income is expected to increase 5-percent this year and 6-percent in 2014. Experts said Arizona's economic growth is closely tied to the state's population, which they expect will increase by about 1 percent this year.

W.P. Carey School of Business Research Professor Lee McPheters said, "Population demand has a profound impact on construction, the housing market, commercial space and the service sector. All grow to serve the incoming population."

Other economic outlook highlights:

2013 will mark the seventh consecutive year of lean, subpar growth

From 1960-2007, Arizona routinely ranked among the Top 5 states for both jobs and population growth

From 2008-2011, Arizona dropped to 48th in job growth and 14th in population growth

Currently, Arizona has the 7th fastest growth rate in the nation

Arizona is 6th in new residents

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