Alliance Bank of Arizona's Virtual Economic Forum
As news of COVID-19 surge and testing numbers dominate headlines, business leaders have watchfully been monitoring the state of the economy, eager for tell-tale signs of recovery and indicators of when business will return to normal.
To bring greater clarity and context to the current conditions and what they mean for the future, Alliance Bank of Arizona hosted a Virtual Economic Forum featuring insights from keynote speaker Dr. Christopher Thornberg, founder of Beacon Economics, a leading independent economic research and consulting firm, as well as Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.
Camacho kicked off the event by taking a close look at the unique, business-friendly conditions greater Phoenix offers companies looking for a highly educated workforce in a market with unparalleled lifestyle offerings. As one of the fastest-growing metro areas in terms of both GDP and population, he reveals that to date in 2020, 42 companies have committed to relocating to the Valley, bringing with them $4.27 billion in capital investments and nearly 10,000 jobs with an average salary of more than $68,000.
In the same vein, Camacho examines key indicators of the Valley’s economic health, including temporary COVID-related employment declines, the influx of California-based businesses moving to Arizona and the rise of nerve centers, the next generation technology-laden business units attracted to the state.
Cutting through the uncertainty, Dr. Thornberg provides thoughtful, evidence-based analysis rooted in understanding how pre-pandemic conditions are affecting current conditions, identifying the impact of the second surge, addressing fears of a great recession (or depression), assessing the impact of policy decisions and stimulus packages, and anticipating recovery.
Dr. Thornberg also looks through an Arizona-specific lens critically examining state and local unemployment trends, developments in the state’s real estate standings, the health of key sectors of the economy and other key factors that are determining a potential timeline for recovery. Among the specific insights for the state, he reports that:
• The COVID-19 recession is over and the state (and nation) is in full recovery mode.
• Arizona’s housing market has bounced back…and is at the highest rate it has been at since 2007.
• The state fared better than most others in terms of coronavirus-related unemployment figures, which is due in large part to policies that did not completely shut down business operations.
• Taxable sales reflect a strong bounce-back with a 3.7% increase between February and May 2020, with the strongest numbers coming from retail (12.9%), while food remained stable (0.2%) and restaurants saw a decline (-12.8%).
• Credit and debit card spending is up both in Arizona and nationally.
• There are no signs of distress (bankruptcy) according to the latest numbers available.
To access the recording of Dr. Christopher Thornberg's full presentation please complete the form above.
Alliance Bank of Arizona, a division of Western Alliance Bank, Member FDIC, helps business clients realize their ambitions. Founded in 2003, Alliance Bank of Arizona offers a full spectrum of loan, deposit and treasury management capabilities, plus superior service. With 10 offices in Greater Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff, along with Western Alliance Bank’s powerful array of specialized financial services, the banking division is a valued resource for Arizona’s business, real estate, professional, municipal and nonprofit communities. Alliance Bank’s wide-ranging commitment to giving back to its communities earned the prestigious 2018 Corporate Philanthropy Award from the Phoenix Business Journal. Western Alliance Bank is the primary subsidiary of Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bancorporation. One of the country’s top-performing banking companies, Western Alliance has ranked in the top 10 on the Forbes “Best Banks in America” list for five consecutive years, 2016-2020, and was named #1 best-performing of the 50 largest public U.S. banks for 2019 by S&P Global Market Intelligence.