U.S. Outlook: A softer start to the year

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

After two consecutive quarters of more than 3.0% real GDP growth in 2017, you could be forgiven for starting to believe the hype of the administration’s 3.0 or 4.0% annual growth forecasts for the coming years.

Two signs in store window for sales - 50% and 70% - with reflection of shoppers faintly visible.Unfortunately, the period of 3% GDP growth appears to already be in our rear-view mirror.

For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on Feb. 16.

Key observations:

  • After a surge in spending in September, October, and November, consumers have grown stingy in December and January.
  • Bad weather in January could have contributed to the weakness in sales that month, but that isn’t the whole story, in our opinion.
  • In all fairness, we are probably not seeing the impact of the personal tax cuts passed in December in these retail sales numbers.
  • We’ve revised our real GDP forecast for the first quarter of 2018 down to 2.1%.

 

Read my full report.

 

Read More ›

Investment Insights: Back in the saddle again

Wade Balliet
Posted by Wade Balliet
Investment Strategy
Two construction workers in hardhats looking up at a partially finished highway bridge.

Now that the dust has settled from the correction, we are more positive in our stance on stocks over the near-term.

Read More ›

U.S. Outlook: Market volatility takes center stage

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Graph showing recent spike in stock market volatility.

After months of abnormally low financial market volatility, risk is suddenly a two-way street again.

Read More ›

Cybersecurity: When speed is everything

Eileen Dignen
Cash Management
Collage showing hands of a clock near noon, with euros and graph notations in the background.

Even the best-designed cybersecurity policy is no silver bullet for total protection of corporate data.

Read More ›

Avoiding income tax fraud: What to know about the IRS

David Pollino
Security
Sign for Internal Revenue Service on the side of a stone building, with a traffic light (on red) nearby.

Knowing how the IRS operates will help you recognize fraudulent activities.

Read More ›