Economic Outlook Luncheon 2019

2019 Economic Outlook Luncheon
Join us for lunch with Eller’s George Hammond and Chase Head Economist Jim Glassman as they offer insight into emerging economic trends.


11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 6, 2019

Friday, December 6

11:30 a.m.-Noon Registration
Noon-12:30 p.m. Lunch
12:30-1:30 p.m. Program

Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa, Tucson


$80/individual and $800/table of 10 before November 20
$85/individual and $850/table of 10 November 20 or later.

Register Now

Strength Now, but Headwinds Are Building

After solid performance in 2018, Tucson continues to enjoy a sustained expansion in jobs, income and population. However, growth still falls behind the state and the nation on many metrics. Job gains in Tucson are primarily coming in healthcare, leisure and hospitality, manufacturing and construction. In contrast, the retail sector is suffering job losses. What’s driving the gains across sectors? Can manufacturing continue to grow? Will retail job losses continue and what does that mean for retail sales?

Even with strong construction job growth, house prices are rising faster than income. This has driven housing affordability down to levels last seen in 2000. Tucson is not alone in this regard—Phoenix and the rest of the nation are seeing similar trends. Even so, housing remains more affordable in Arizona than in other major Western markets like Las Vegas, San Diego, Portland and Seattle. Where are house prices and construction headed next year? Will falling interest rates sustain housing demand?

Construction Jobs are Rising at the Fastest Pace in Years


The national economy is in the midst of the longest expansion on record, but headwinds are building. Job growth is slowing, interest rate spreads have turned negative and trade tensions and related uncertainty are weighing on national manufacturing activity. The risks of recession have risen during the past year and, at the moment, seem concentrated on the second half of 2020. What are the odds of recession? What would a national downturn mean for Tucson?

Federal government spending growth is elevated, for now. This matters for Tucson because federal government activity, as well as the defense and aerospace sectors, are a large part of the industry mix. What is next for federal spending and will Tucson benefit?

Presenter Bios

George W. Hammond, director and research professor, Economic and Business Research Center, brings a wealth of experience in state and local econometric forecasting and regional economic analysis, as well as wide-ranging academic research interests to bear on his role as director of the Eller College’s Economic and Business Research Center. A specialist in econometric forecasting for more than 20 years, he has designed, built and used economic models to produce more than 100 forecasts for state and local economies, and completed more than 50 regional economic studies on topics including economic and workforce development, energy forecasting and the impact of higher education on human capital accumulation.


Jim Glassman, managing director and head economist for Commercial Banking, Chase, provides market insights to help clients better understand the changing economy and its impact on their business. Glassman also works closely with the firm’s Corporate Sector, including the Chief Investment Office and Investor Relations, as well as the Investment Bank and Government Relations groups, providing financial analysis and research. A publisher of independent research on the principal forces shaping the economy and financial markets, he is regularly cited in the financial media, where he is also a frequent commentator on economic policy issues. Additionally, he is a long-standing participant in the widely followed Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Survey of Professional Forecasters and the National Association of Business Economists’ panel of macro-economic forecasters. From 1979 through 1988, Glassman served as a senior economist in the Research & Statistics and Monetary Affairs departments at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. His responsibilities ranged from analysis and forecasting of inflation and labor market developments to analysis of the Federal Reserve’s operating strategies and interest rate markets to the development of monetary and reserves projections.

Event Contacts