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PHOENIX -- Arizona's wealthiest are feeling good about the future.

In a new BMO Financial study, 65 percent of Arizonans worth $1 million or more expect the U.S. economy to improve over the next year. That's 5 percent higher than their wealthy counterparts across the country.

BMO spokesperson Carey Allen said there are several reasons for the regional optimism.

"We've had a lot of focus here on the health sector with the aging baby boomers and places like T-Gen and the focus on medical technology sectors."

The study also found about the same number of affluent Arizonans considers stocks and real estate a good investment again.

What's more, said Allen, "specifically 48 percent of them actually say they are better off financially than they were before the Great Recession of 2008."

Economists predict that higher level of confidence will trickle down as the affluent spend more money, more often on luxury items and services and stimulate local economic growth.

Holliday Moore,

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