How bad is the economy?
Well, after spending some time with retailers in Arizona over the last few days, it is pretty bad in this neck of the woods. A number of merchants I spoke with over the last few days say that the Phoenix area economy continues to struggle and several, including two pet retailers, said they were pulling up stakes and moving to better areas.
It appears those better areas are Texas and Virginia/Maryland, two regions that are getting plenty of positive buzz for a stronger economy. Texas is known for its low taxes and nice weather (at least in the fall and winter). Virginia and Maryland are doing better than the rest of the country because of their proximity to Washington, D.C. and the federal government, which keeps spending and spending.