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Report: Arizona ranked No. 3 fastest-growing economy in nation

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PHOENIX — Arizona’s economy is booming, according to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data released last week.

“For the third quarter of 2018, which is the most recent state data available, Arizona had the third-highest fastest-growing economy in the U.S.,” Eric Jay Toll, communications manager for the Phoenix Community and Economic Development Department, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.

“We had a 4.3 percent growth in gross domestic product. The U.S. average was 3.4 percent.”

The two states ranked above Arizona were Utah at 4.4 percent and Washington at 5.8 percent, he said.

“We handily beat the economies of Colorado, Texas, Georgia, California and Massachusetts, and those are the states Arizona competes against,” he said.

Toll said some of the economic growth came from unusual areas, including financial and business services, health care and manufacturing.

Before the recession, most growth came from construction, real estate and retail sales, he said.

“The economy is growing in what we would call the right ways because those industries are the ones that tend to be recession-resistant, according to what people have told us,” he said.

Toll said some people have referred to the Phoenix area as “Wall Street West” because it has the third-highest number of financial services workers in the U.S.

“The economy of the Phoenix area has flipped. … The economy itself has rotated into the types of industries that allow for sustained, healthy job growth,” he said.

Toll said he expects to see an increase in bioscience and technology jobs as more companies from California look to Arizona.

“I think sometimes here in Phoenix we have a tendency to not realize what a vibrant economy that we have and how diversified it’s become in the years since the Great Recession,” he said.

“And it’s really something for us to be proud of.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Amy Phol contributed to this report. 

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