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Welcome to The Economy Update, CED's collection of original and aggregated news stories, podcasts and videos with relevant news about the Phoenix economy. News stories can be filtered by topic when clicking on one  of the blue buttons. 

Media contacts:

Eric Jay Toll
Communications Manager 
Mobile:  602-617-3797​

Submit news stories for publication with at least one high resolution, full size JPG or PNG image, at least 2000 pixels wide; MP3 podcasts; or High Definition, 1080i MP4 video to Communications Manager Eric Jay Toll



Get Smart: Greater Phoenix Cities Lead the Way765Get Smart: Greater Phoenix Cities Lead the Way<div class="ExternalClass94FC09228B7249449F3D60C7C9CEB183"><div style="text-align:center;"><figure> <img src="/econdevsite/MediaAssets/EconomyUpdate/NEWSROOM-Inbussines_Smart-Cities.jpg" alt="Night time image of Downtown Phoenix with the words 'get smart' overprinted in the center" /> <figcaption><em>Phoenix and other Valley cities are on the road to becoming full-fledged smart cities, as reported by Greater Phoenix inBusiness magazine in January 2020.</em> <br>Image: Greater Phoenix inBusiness <br> <em>By RaeAnn Marsh for Greater Phoenix inBusiness</em> </figcaption></figure></div> <<p><span style="font-size:15px;">Having a lot of information doesn’t necessarily equate to being smart. With all our “smart” devices that generate mountains of data, what makes a difference in our lives is what we do with that information. Cities take that concept to a greater scale, benefitting both residents and business.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:15px;">In fact, in terms of growing and attracting business, Chris Camacho, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, notes, “Digital and smart technology are now considered the new-age infrastructure of the 21st century.”</span></p><p><span style="font-size:15px;">Says Diana Bowman, Ph.D., co-director of ASU Center for Smart Regions and Cities, “When I think about what a smart city or region is, my first response really is framed around a jurisdiction that is focused on improving quality of life for its residents.” One example she offers is designing infrastructure that supports autonomous vehicles as a way to promote independence in an aging population and encourage aging in place. Another is delivering connectivity to as many people as possible, as access to the internet can open up new employment opportunities as well as deliver a range of educational opportunities that school-aged children may not have previously had access to. “Infrastructure is, therefore, critical to the evolution of a city to a smart city. But I would argue that the infrastructure should be viewed as the enabler for the delivery of services and opportunities that will drive quality-of-life improvement and promote, for example, sustainability.”</span></p>​<br></div>1/3/2020 7:00:00 AM
Walton Launches New Homebuilding Fund766Walton Launches New Homebuilding Fund<div class="ExternalClass5F964935F98F4E6B8BCB0BC36A29D9EE"><div style="text-align:center;"><figure> <img src="/econdevsite/MediaAssets/Buildings/DOWNTOWN-20191023-Rooftop-looking-East.jpg" alt="Aerial photo of Downtown Phoenix" /> <figcaption><em>Downtown Phoenix looking east from the roof of City Hall, 200 West Washington Street, Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.</em> <br>Image: City of Phoenix <br> <em>By Kelsi Maree Borland for Globe St.</em> </figcaption> </figure></div><p><span style="font-size:15px;">Development or BOLD fund. The new fund will acquire land pre-identified by homebuilders for single-family home development. Walton will partner with its existing network of large-volume homebuilders focusing on resident land projects. The land sites will be sold to these builders in phases through a pre-determined exit strategy.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:15px;">“We have $3.8 billion in assets under management and 106,000 acres in North America,” Kate Kaminiski, COO at Walton Global Holdings, tells “That is all existing predevelopment land assets, and a lot of it was acquired before the great recession. Prior to that time, we were seeing a significant amount of large land transactions occurring and builders securing long-term land positions. 2008 changed all of that. We not only saw a substantial amount of finished lot inventory in the marketplace, but also builders and developers were really punished by Wall Street for having that land inventory when the markets crashed, and there were pretty strict restrictions on what they could hold on their balance sheets. As a result, we are seeing a lot of developers uninterested in land that isn’t ready to turn within 24 months.”</span>​</p></div>12/30/2019 7:00:00 AM
U.S. Smartphone Penetration hit 90% 10x Faster than Flush Toilets764U.S. Smartphone Penetration hit 90% 10x Faster than Flush Toilets<div class="ExternalClassD1511771DBF04F86ABFBE80F82711441"><div style="text-align:center;"> <figure><img src="/econdevsite/MediaAssets/EconomyUpdate/UPDATE-20191231-Chart-of-tech-adoption.jpg" alt="Chart, depicting the market penetration of technology in the U.S. from 1860 to 2019" /><figcaption><em>Still image from interactive chart at Our World In Data showing the length of time from introduction to the market to 90 percent market penetration and current market penetration.</em><br> Image: <em>Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser (2019) - "Technology Adoption." Published online at <a href=""></a>.</em><br><em>Introduced by Eric Jay Toll for The PhxCEDNewsroom</em> </figcaption> <br> </figure> </div><p> <span style="font-size:15px;">Product adoption used to have a long run-up. It took 100 years for flush toilets to reach 90 percent of the U.S. population.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size:15px;">​For the automobile, MorningBrew calculated from a Dec. 31, 2019, chart by <a href="">Our World in Data​</a> the 90 percent mark was hit in 74 years. The telephone itself took 66 years to land in 90 percent or more of U.S. households. Electrical power required 50 years to hit the threshold. Business and household computer ownership required just 27 years to penetrate 90 percent of the U.S.</span> </p><p> <span style="font-size:15px;">The landline telephone connection passed the 90 percent mark after 69 years, but in 2019, its market penetration dropped from its 95 percent peak in 2003 to 41 percent in 2019, just 16 years later. </span></p><p> <span style="font-size:15px;">The smartphone jumped from 10 percent market penetration to 90 percent in under 10 years.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size:15px;">O​ tracks technology adoption from 1860 to 2019, and the data are just fascinating as to how quickly technology penetrates the market.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size:15px;">Researchers Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser write, based in the United Kingdom, “This visualization details the rates of diffusion and adoption of a range of technologies in the United States, measured as the percentage of US households with access or adoption over time. Specific definitions of what constitutes ‘adoption’ or ‘diffusion’ of each technology can be found in the ‘Sources’ tab of the chart.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size:15px;">"We were pointed to the relevant sources by Horace Dediu, who documents, blogs and analyses technological change over time. We have tracked down all of his original sources and assembled our dataset based on these original sources.”​</span></p>​​<br></div>12/30/2019 7:00:00 AM
Family business keeps high-volume mail moving for big companies767Family business keeps high-volume mail moving for big companies<div class="ExternalClassFF1BA58415364A988A1F1E584ECC9DF6"><div style="text-align:center;"><figure> <img src="/econdevsite/MediaAssets/Other/NEWSROOM-20200109-Direct_Mail_Production.jpg" alt="Photo, equipment in a square used for direct mail" /> <figcaption><em>Equipment used to complete production of direct mail piecces prior to mailing.</em> <br>Image: Creative Commons <br> <em>By Georgeann Yara, Special to The Arizona Republic</em> </figcaption> </figure></div><p><span style="font-size:15px;">As a kid, Ashley Jorgensen knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. And she followed through.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:15px;">Hanging around, her dad’s print and direct mail company, since she was a toddler probably had something to do with it.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:15px;">“My dad would work days and super late nights to get it off the ground. He would bring my mom and me to work, we’d meet him for lunch,” she said of the Phoenix company her father Craig Hauer started in 1994. “I remember as a fifth-grader saying, ‘Ooh, I’m going to work there.’”</span></p><p><span style="font-size:15px;">And while her classmates may have talked about flashier careers, Jorgensen’s goal to enter the family business was conceived in a dream beyond the superficial.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:15px;">“I really liked the idea of working with my dad, being involved in a family business and working together. It was more of a bigger picture than, ‘Oh, I really love mail!’” she said, while laughing. “My dad was my role model and still is.”</span></p>​<br></div>12/29/2019 7:00:00 AM
New pharma manufacturer picks Phoenix area for facility to make generic drugs on FDA shortage list 763New pharma manufacturer picks Phoenix area for facility to make generic drugs on FDA shortage list<div class="ExternalClassDF2C96623CA44D58A4DEFE889973F1DD"><div style="text-align:center;"><figure> <img src="/econdevsite/MediaAssets/Buildings/UPDATE-20191223-medivant-health.jpg" alt="Photo, interior of industrial building being renovated for pharma company" /> <figcaption><em>Medivant Health is renovating this 33,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Chandler to make generic drugs that are on the FDA's list of drugs in short supply.</em> <br>Image: Medivant Health <br> <em>By Angela Gonzales for Phoenix Business Journal</em> </figcaption> </figure></div><p><span style="font-size:15px;">A new pharmaceutical manufacturer called Medivant Health is going where no other pharma firm wants to go — to make generic drugs that are in short supply.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:15px;">The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more than 150 generic drugs on its shortage list, causing hospitals and physician groups throughout the nation to either pay higher prices for what are typically less expensive medications or find alternative drugs to take their place.</span></p><p><span style="font-size:15px;">Medivant Health is investing more than $8 million to build a 33,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Chandler to start making drugs on the shortage list, starting with lidocaine, a local anesthetic injected to numb tissue.</span></p> ​<br></div>12/23/2019 8:00:00 PM



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