It’s been 31 years that economic forecasts have been presented in Phoenix, thanks to the help of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (www.phoenixchamber.com) and Cox Communications (www.cox.com/arizona). The forecast from the latest report is excellent for 2014 with many Valley businesses saying they plan to create more jobs in 2014, according to a Chamber news release.
Nearly 900 people attended the annual event at the Arizona Biltmore to hear presentations by economists Dr. Paul Thomas of Intel and Elliot Pollack of Elliot D. Pollack and Company as well as from financial markets expert Jim Huntzinger of BOK Financial.
Pollack told the gathering results of the report show a very positive outlook for the local area in the new year. The housing market should accelerate next year, a lot of new jobs are being created and population growth is picking up again after slowing,” Pollack stated.
On a national level, Huntzinger also had a lot of positive news. “Mortgage rates and gasoline prices have come back down and consumer net worth is up dramatically,” said Huntzinger. “Consumers are wealthier which has a positive effect on attitudes and spending.”
Cox Communications developed the Cox Media mobile text survey. Attendees shared their beliefs via text messages on employment, national policy and local industry growth. The results were:
· 56 percent of those responding plan to increase staffing in 2014 while 29 percent plan to hold current levels and only 6 percent planning to decrease staffing.
· 43 percent of those responding said healthcare was their number one concern from an economic standpoint with 39 percent projecting healthcare as an industry with the most potential for employment growth.
The Chamber’s economic development annual report as presented at the event too. It shows the Chamber’s commitment to support local businesses as they seek to grow. It can be found online at www.phoenixchamber.com/yearinreview.
“As presenters stated at the recent event, we have a lot to look forward to,” said Todd Sanders, president and CEO of the Chamber. “Even though Arizona was hit hard by the recession of 2007 and the recovery has been slow I am confident we will continue to experience job growth and business expansion in 2014.”