SRP's 2017 Economic Forecast Is Optimistic For Southwest

Published: Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 5:41pm
Updated: Thursday, September 15, 2016 - 5:43pm
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(Photo by Christina Estes - KJZZ)
Former Citibank CEO Eugene McQuade was the keynote speaker at SRP's 2017 Economic Forecast presented by the Phoenix Business Journal.

The former Chief Executive Officer of Citibank says the regional economic outlook is generally stronger than the United States and job creation is expected to exceed the national average.

Eugene McQuade was the keynote speaker at SRP’s 2017 Economic Forecast presented by the Phoenix Business Journal on Thursday. 

“I think this region is either better or the best in the United States right now,” he said. “It’s still not robust but if somebody said, ‘Where would you want to have a business right now?’ It would be right around here.”  

McQuade said a tight labor market will it tough to find new workers and expects employers will need to boost salaries.

“You’re going to have to be very mindful of trying to retain the employees you have now,” he said. “I think that means particularly your better employees. You need to be focused on making sure they don’t get called away.” 

Arizona companies looking to grow might consider two areas: Latin America, which McQuade says should be the world’s fastest-growing region in the next couple years, and Asia because its economy, while slowing, is still growing twice as fast as most other markets.

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