NCAA Host Cities Shoot for Economic Windfall

The NCAA’s final round is expected to bring more than 60,000 visitors and pour more than $70 million into the City of Indianapolis, capping off four weeks of regional games across the country.

POV: What’s happened lately to make it seem like the country might finally be headed in a better direction.

Hoffman: It’s due to a lot of factors, but it can be summed up by jobs, stocks and gas.

POV: Start with jobs

Hoffman: U.S. businesses added almost 230,000 jobs per month so far this year. That means 2.7 million more Americans are employed this holiday season. The unemployment rate is at its lowest level in more than six years, down from 7.0 percent late last year to 5.8 percent in October.

POV: And stocks? Not everyone owns those.

Hoffman: Not directly, but if you have a company 401(k) plan, retirement looks a lot more comfortable with stock prices up about 13 percent. And stocks are just one common asset class. Housing prices are another. On average, your house is worth 5 percent more than at this time last year. That makes you feel richer.

POV: And finally, gas prices. It’s not hard to understand why the recent drop is making consumers happy.

Hoffman: That’s right. The national average gasoline price in mid-November was down by about 35 cents per gallon from this time last year.

POV: Thirty-five cents doesn’t sound like a lot.

Hoffman: Don’t be so sure. Each one cent per gallon reduction in the national average price of gasoline (maintained for one year) reduces consumers' spending at the gas station by about $1.1 billion. It put close to $39 billion of extra bucks into holiday shoppers "pockets" this year compared to 2013.

POV: That is a happy holiday!

Hoffman: We’ll be back after the New Year to tell you how it worked out for retail stores.

Dr. Stuart Hoffman, PNC Chief Economist
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The strong, internal fundamentals of the U.S. economy should prevail, more than offsetting the drag from abroad...we (U.S. economy) will benefit mostly from a 'homegrown' expansion within our borders.

Important Information and Disclosures

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