George W. Hammond, PhD
Director and Research Professor
Economic and Business Research Center
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Anthony Chan, PhD
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- Call 520.621.1811
The Outlook is a product of the Forecasting Project. With a 30-year history, these forecasts are widely recognized for accuracy and for providing lucid insights into what the future holds.
The annual luncheon is presented by the Eller College of Management in cooperation with the University of Arizona Foundation.
Tucson posted its strongest job growth since 2012 last year and has sustained that momentum into 2018. While most new jobs were in service-providing sectors, both construction and manufacturing added nearly 1,000 jobs each in 2017, which was much improved performance. Overall, Tucson is back on track, generating solid gains in jobs, population and, to a lesser extent, income.
With the Tucson economy gaining momentum, construction activity has surged. Single-family house prices are rising at the fastest pace in years. While there are clear signs of strength, rising mortgage rates, labor shortages and increasing raw materials prices beg the question: Is the local housing market in the red zone and headed for a correction?
International trade remains a key economic and political issue, with tariffs rising and U.S. trade relationships changing significantly. Will Arizona’s exports finally start growing again or are we in for more sluggish performance?
Federal government activity is a much bigger part of Tucson’s economy than it is for the state or nation. While federal spending has been rising, how long can that last? What will happen to local growth when federal activity slows again?
The national economy continues one of the longest economic expansions on record. Gains have been spurred in part by tax cuts and increased federal spending. Will that be enough to sustain growth through 2019? Will rising interest rates derail the expansion? What other risks are on the horizon and what would a national downturn mean for Tucson?
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