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Pollack: Continued economic growth

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January 8th, 2018

The Monday Morning Quarterback

A quick analysis of important economic data released over the last week

The new year is starting with continued growth in the economy.  Jobs continue to increase.  Both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors are expanding.  Motor vehicle sales remain strong.  Construction spending was up.  And the local housing market remains strong.

The current strength is likely to continue in the near and intermediate term as the effect of the tax cuts and proposed infrastructure spending work their way through the economy.  While all good things must end, the end of this cycle does not appear to be in sight at this time.  Enjoy the ride.

U.S. Snapshot:

  • Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 148,000 in December.  Significant job gains occurred in health care (31,000 jobs), construction (30,000 jobs) and manufacturing (25,000 jobs).  In 2017, payroll employment growth totaled 2.1 million compared with a gain of 2.2 million in 2016 (see chart below).
  • The ISM manufacturing index expanded in December to 59.7.  This compares to 58.2 in November.  A reading above 50 indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding.
  • The ISM non-manufacturing index for December was 55.9.  This is 1.5 percentage points lower than the November reading of 57.4.  The sector continues to grow, though.  December was the 101st consecutive month of expansion for the overall economy and the 96th consecutive month of expansion in the non-manufacturing sector.
  • Vehicle sales proved solid in December at a 17.8 million unit annualized rate.  This compares to 17.4 million in November.  Outside of September and October, which were driven by hurricane replacement demand, December’s results were among the very best of the last two years.
  • Construction spending in November 2017 was up 0.8% from October and 2.4% above a year earlier.  During the first eleven months of 2017, construction spending was 4.2% above the similar 2016 period.

Arizona Snapshot:

  • Active listings continue to decline, according to The Cromford Report, and ended the year 11.2% lower than December of last year. December’s median sales price was $245,000 which is up 8.9% over last year. This combination led to the drop in average days on the market from 74.6 days to 67.6 days for that same period.

About EDPCo

Elliott D. Pollack & Company (EDPCo) offers a broad range of economic and real estate consulting services backed by one of the most comprehensive databases found in the nation. This information makes it possible for the firm to conduct economic forecasting, develop economic impact studies and prepare demographic analyses and forecasts. Econometric modeling and economic development analysis and planning are also part of our capabilities. EDPCo staff includes professionals with backgrounds in economics, urban planning, financial analysis, real estate development and government. These professionals serve a broad client base of both public and private sector entities that range from school districts and utility companies to law firms and real estate developers.

For more information, contact –

Elliott D. Pollack & company
7505 East Sixth Avenue, Suite 100
Scottsdale, Arizona 85251

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  • Published: 8 months ago on January 9, 2018
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  • Last Modified: January 9, 2018 @ 10:19 am
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