Good News for Arizona: Phoenix Number 1 for Economic Growth and Tucson Number 2

According to the latest Metro Monitor Report from the Brookings Institute, Phoenix has the highest gross metropolitan product growth in the nation with Tucson a close second. Gross metropolitan product is the total value of goods and services a metropolitan area produces. The report looked at this year’s first-quarter data on economic progress for the country’s 100 largest metro areas, showing an output increase of 1.2 percent in Phoenix and 1.1 percent in Tucson during that first quarter.

Kenan Fikri, Brookings’ policy analyst and co-author of the report, believes that if output continues to grow in Phoenix at the pace it did last quarter, it could reach full recovery by the end of 2013, but employment recovery is still several years away. Phoenix saw a 0.6 percent job growth over the first quarter, but the employment rate is still 7.2 percent below its pre-recession peak despite consecutive quarters of above-average growth.

As for housing recovery, Phoenix ranked third in the region and fifth in the nation with 2.7 percent growth, making it the fastest-recovering major housing market in the nation with a housing price increase of 18.3 percent since the second quarter of 2012. However, Fikri believes that Phoenix may never reach pre-recession peaks in the housing market because a significant percent of its pre-recession economy was based on the housing bubble.

While Phoenix has displayed strong recovery in the past several months, it is still lagging behind national progress in achieving full recovery because it was hit extremely hard by the recession.

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