Even the local media are admitting that Phoenix is back in a housing slump. I mean no disrespect to hard-working Arizona journalists. But let's face it, the Real Estate Industrial Complex controls the conversation, withholds or doles out ad dollars and can, ahem, ensure that offending columnists are run off. So when the local media admit to a problem involving this sacred cow, head for the bomb shelter.
More about housing (yawn) later. The most arresting data come from a new report by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis. Arizona's per-capita personal expenditures, adjusted for inflation, were virtually flat in 2012 compared to 2000.
And this is "consumer spending" kept afloat with massive debt considering that most wages have been stagnant or falling, and the typical American household saw a 36-percent decline in its wealth between 2003 and 2013.
Other mid-year observations:
Fewer people are working than before the Great Recession, and the available labor force has fallen...