by Valorie H. Rice
Senior Specialist, Business Information

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released quarterly industry-level GDP by state for the first time on December 10th.  These data reflect the second quarter of 2015 and find that real GDP grew in 46 states, including Arizona, which increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.2% in the second quarter. Growth in service industries was widespread across states. Finance and insurance grew 12.4% and was the leading contributor to growth in 28 states. This was true in Arizona, where it contributed 1.06 percentage points to real GDP growth, the most out of all industries in the state.

Producer prices reversed a three-month trend by increasing 0.3% in November. The increase was mainly due to services, as final demand services rose 0.5% over the month, while final demand goods decreased 0.1%. The change in producer prices over the year was -1.1% according to the December 11 release. 

There were 1,224 bankruptcies in Arizona during November, down 1.6% from the same time last year.  Bankruptcy filings are down 13.9% year-to-date in 2015 for Arizona. There were only three counties that experienced an increase in year-to-date filings (Apache, Greenlee, and Santa Cruz); all others have had a decline in bankruptcies compared to last year.

The Milken Institute released their annual Best-Performing Cities for 2015 report December 8th.  Most Arizona cities did not fare well in the rankings for 2015. There are two separate rankings – one for large cities and one for small cities, both of which take into account current and long-term employment and wage growth as well as high tech GDP growth. Only Phoenix and Tucson are reported in the large city list of 200. Phoenix moved up 3 places to rank 62 in 2015 while Tucson moved down 14 places to 175. San Jose followed by San Francisco topped the large city list. Both Flagstaff and Prescott made great strides in the small city list of 201 with Flagstaff moving up 56 places to 42 and Prescott moving up 42 places to rank 73. Yuma remained basically the same at 160 (going down one spot) while Lake Havasu City (155) and Sierra Vista (191) were new to the rankings this year.  Two North Dakota cities, Fargo and Bismarck, were at the top of the small cities list. 

There were 2,581 initial unemployment claims in Arizona the week ending November 28, down 1,492 from the week prior. The four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility, was 3,641 compared to 3,921 the week before. Filings for unemployment benefits nationally rose 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 282,000 for the week ending December 5, the highest they have been since July. The four-week average moved up to 270,750.  






Hands and calculator photo courtesy Shutterstock.
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