Stuart Hoffman

Stuart Hoffman is chief financial economist of PNC Financial Services Group.

Despite Lull, Pittsburgh Poised to Grow Faster

Greater Pittsburgh’s economy is in a precarious situation to start 2017. The seven-county region’s unemployment rate rose sharply through the second half of 2015, nearing 6 percent—a level not seen since 2014 when the recovery was just gaining real momentum. Prior to the 2008–09 recession, Pittsburgh’s unemployment rate mirrored national trends for 20 years. So …

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Moderate Growth in Store for Metro Pittsburgh in 2016

Metropolitan Pittsburgh is a picture of stability entering 2016. Job growth is outpacing the Pennsylvania state average, and the unemployment rate for the seven-county region is steady near 5 percent. 2015 brought a resurgence in labor force growth, providing local employers a wider pool of talent from which to fill their ever-expanding payroll needs. Pittsburgh …

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The 2015 Economic Outlook

Southwestern Pennsylvania is in solid economic shape entering 2015. Employment is holding near all-time highs, and the seven-county unemployment rate has fallen to just under 5 percent—with the historic low of 4.1 percent in sight for 2016. But stalled labor force growth since late 2012 should temper excitement regarding the unemployment rate’s descent, as a …

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The Economic Forecast: U.S. and Pittsburgh to Expand

For 2006, the U.S. economy’s prospects remain favorable, along with those of Asia, North America and, to a lesser extent, Europe. One key assumption underlying our sanguine global economic outlook is that crude oil prices will fluctuate within a $45 to $70 per barrel range, but average close to $55 per barrel in 2006, down …

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