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.

 

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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.

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U.S. Outlook: Is this still a Goldilocks expansion?

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Graph showing rise in hourly earnings (percentages) per month.

Jobs creation accelerated as 2018 got underway, with 200K net new jobs created last month.

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Instant Analysis: FOMC statement and decision for January

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
View of a eagle statue on Federal Reserve building in DC

This was Janet Yellen’s last FOMC meeting, and the decision was unanimous.

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U.S. Outlook: Headline GDP growth for Q4 comes in on the light side

Scott Anderson
Chief Economist
Graph showing quarterly GDP growth figures from 2015, with forecasts for 2018

U.S. GDP growth slowed to 2.6% in the fourth quarter, following a 3.2% annualized growth rate in the third quarter.

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