State Capitol News
8:28 am
Fri February 4, 2011

Most State Residents Think Better Times are on the Way

Phoenix, AZ – The state's jobless rate still stands at 9.4 percent. But for the
second quarter in a row, the consumer confidence index is on the
way up. Dennis Hoffman, an economics professor at Arizona State
University said there's no dichotomy here.

(We know unemployed people are stressed. It's the gainfully
employed component that have backed away, for the last few years,
they have backed away from stores. And now they appear to be
venturing forth again.)

In fact, more than one in five people surveyed said they plan to
buy a new computer or electronic equipment worth at least $500 in
the next six months.

(I think what's going to also help us is yet one more brutal
winter in the Midwest and the East. There's still a lot of
fundamentals out here: Sunshine and wide-open space. And for many
people's taste, the opportunity to just come and enjoy an early
retirement lifestyle.)

Of course that is contingent on those people being able to sell
their homes and that the value of their retirement accounts gets
healthy again.

(And as those folks show up, then there's going to be more
employment opportunities for existing Arizonans and for others to
move in.)

But Hoffman said that, given how deep in the hole the state is
in, full recovery will take time. For Arizona Public Radio this
is Howard Fischer.