Business, civic leaders hear economic forecast

PHOENIX (AP) — An economic researcher says Arizona's economy is expanding at a slow but steady pace with population and employment growth rates that are above most states' rates but below the state's own long-term averages.

Arizona State University Research Professor Lee McPheters on Wednesday was one of the featured speakers addressing hundreds of Arizona business and civic leaders.

He says 2014 will likely be the eighth straight year for subpar growth in Arizona, but the long-term economic outlook is positive.

McPheters says he expects employment growth to rise slightly to 2.4 percent in 2014, while personal income goes from 4 percent this year to 5.4 percent next year.

About 1,000 people attended the annual forecast luncheon at the Phoenix Convention Center. It was sponsored by JPMorgan Chase and ASU's W.P. Carey School of Business.