All Posts Tagged: initial jobless claims

U.S. Outlook: Mixed signals and caution

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

What are the near-term prospects for the U.S. economy? Is the glass half-full or half-empty? It’s a tough call.

Right now both answers probably are correct. We believe the U.S. economy will grow at around 1.7% annualized in the second quarter.

This is significantly lower than the first quarter’s 3.2% pace, but still slightly above the U.S. economy’s potential growth rate of around 1.6%. Indeed, in many respects, the U.S. economic expansion continues to trundle along, with few signs of abating.

Real consumer spending growth is expected to rebound to a respectable 2.6% annualized this quarter, but we do not see a return to the heady 3% or more consumer spending growth we saw in the middle of last year (after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed.)

Moreover, obstacles to consumer spending look like they will only increase from here and spending growth is expected to dip below 2% by 2020.

For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on May 17.

Key observations:

• Regional manufacturing data for May show a decent improvement, and initial jobless claims fell to a one-month low this week.

• The U.S. economic future depends on how U.S. consumers deal with the increased uncertainty of the China trade war.

• Real consumer spending growth is expected to rebound in the second quarter, but we do not see a return to the heady 3% or more consumer spending growth we saw in the middle of last year (shortly after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was passed).

Read my full report.

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U.S. Outlook: Job growth downshifts in November

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Closeup of lab workers wearing goggles and examining specimens up close.

The payroll report for November appears to confirm the recent market narrative, and our own economic forecast, that U.S. economic growth is decelerating in the fourth quarter.

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U.S. Outlook: Two steps forward, one step back

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Graph showing recent dip in jobless claims

The chorus of calls from Fed officials that a rate hike is coming soon got a lot louder this week.

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U.S. Outlook: U.S. economy is dancing to a different beat

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
outside shoppers in San Francisco

Just when you thought the economic doldrums would last forever, the U.S. economy is dancing to a different beat.

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U.S. Outlook: Jobs rebound, though problems remain

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Graph of declining labor force participation rate.

Better February job gains and a rapid decline in initial jobless claim so far for March gives a new hope and healthy boost to the recovering U.S. economy, though several labor market indicators remain weak.

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