U.S. Outlook: After weak growth, what’s next for 2016?

Chief Economist

An out-sized snap-back in real consumer spending was nearly the lone driver of GDP growth last quarter. But beyond the consumer, there wasn’t a lot to cheer about. See highlights of my analysis below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on July 29.

Graph showing fluctuation in trade balance of goods between January 2014 and May 2016

Key observations:

  • Business fixed investment slipped for the third consecutive quarter in a row with declines in structures and equipment investment.
  • Business inventories fell outright in Q2, dropping by $8.1B, down from a $40.7 billion increase in Q1.
  • The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in the second quarter by about $10 billion as exports grew 1.4% and imports slipped -0.4%.
  • The worse than anticipated drop in durable goods orders again in June, down 4.0% on the month after a 2.8% revised decline in May, suggests the improvement in business investment and manufacturing is going to be a gradual process at best.

Click here to read my full report.

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