All Posts Tagged: U.S. economy

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: Private inventories — A GDP growth wild card

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Aerial View Of Container port

Does business inventory buildup spell economic growth or future recession? Chief Economist Scott Anderson analyzes the data in the U.S. Outlook.

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U.S. Outlook: Will consumers keep spending over the holidays?

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Graph showing growth, declines in various retail sales categories

The retail sales data through October show a consumer who is ready and willing to spend this holiday season.

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U.S. Outlook: Consumers remain a confident bunch

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Graph showing sharp increase in consumer confidence between Oct 2009 and June 2017

It’s been a long time coming, but more consumers are finally riding the wave of plentiful job opportunities, rising incomes, and improving net worth. Nowhere is this better reflected than in the current readings of the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index. Consumer confidence has only been at these nose‐bleed levels a handful of times over the last 40 years, notably […]

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Investment Insights: The muddy waters blues

Wade Balliet
Posted by Wade Balliet
Investment Strategy
A container ship in the harbor in Asia

Mixed U.S. economic data and political upheaval have created muddy waters that are difficult to navigate.

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