Arizona Economy Is In Recovery Mode - BMO Economics

             Arizona Economy Is In Recovery Mode - BMO Economics

- Home Prices Rising Again as Supply Excess Retreats

- Construction Employment Rising

- Population Growth Dampened by Recession

PR Newswire

PHOENIX, Nov. 13, 2012

PHOENIX, Nov. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Arizona economy is in recovery
mode, with home prices on the rise and construction activity moving higher.
Real GDP should grow at an above-average 2.5 percent this year, and hold that
momentum into 2013 as the housing recovery strengthened according to the State
Monitor Report by BMO Capital Markets Economics.

There is increasing evidence that the housing market has stabilized. According
to the S&P Case-Shiller Index, prices in Phoenix plunged 57 percent before
bottoming last September, but they have surged nearly 20 percent. This upward
movement comes amid a significant drawdown in the months' supply of homes
available for sale, to just 2.3 percent in Q2, or back to pre-recession
levels. Arizona suffered a deep housing recession, but upward price momentum
is quickly alleviating the relatively high stress on the Arizona market.

"We have seen a significant increase in the number of people inquiring about a
home purchase or who are interested in refinancing their current residence,"
commented BMO Harris Bank Arizona President, Steve Johnson. "We know there is
significant growth potential in this market which is why we have expanded our
mortgage team to support our customers."

Employment growth has been relatively broad in the past year, with
manufacturing, trade, finance and tourism-related sectors all contributing.
Construction employment is rising again, up 2.9 percent year over year, but
the level of jobs in the sector is still less than half the pre-recession
peak. Employment is expanding at a solid pace, up 2.2 percent year over year
in September. The jobless rate remains above average at 8.2 percent, though
that is down from 9.5 percent a year ago.

Population growth was just 1.1 percent in 2011, down from a peak growth of 3.3
percent at the height of the housing boom. While net international immigration
has weakened since that period, net domestic in-migration (from other states)
has plunged to just above 7,000 persons in 2011 from more than 133,000 in
2006.

The full State Monitor report can be downloaded at www.bmocm.com/economics

About BMO Harris Bank
Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal
banking products and solutions through over 600 branches and approximately
1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota,
Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team
provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market
focus throughout the U.S. Deposit and loan products and services provided by
BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank(SM) is a trade name used by
BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North
American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base
of approximately $180 billion.

SOURCE BMO Financial Group

Contact: Carey Allen, +1-480-558-6383, carey.allen@bmo.com