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What the heck is going on with the US economy?

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What the heck is going on with the US economy?

It’s very difficult to get a grasp on the near-term future of the US economy.

While it appears that the US labor market has been picking up for some time (although not nearly as rapidly as past recoveries), much economic data since Q3 of 2014 has suggested tepid growth, at best.

Consumer spending has remained relatively flat, business investment still appears to be cautious, and exports have been hampered.

Q4 GDP growth came in at a paltry 2.2%, and estimates for the first quarter of 2015 seem to suggest a softening as well, with projections seeming to settle around the 2.2% - 2.6% range.  Given the historically-weak pace of the recovery from the “Great Recession,” it would be expected that growth would be accelerating at a much faster pace by now. 

Consumer spending has remained relatively flat, business investment still appears to be cautious, and exports have been hampered by the strong US dollar and a now-resolved labor dispute at ports on the West Coast.

So what to make of all this? 

Well, if you believe the National Association for Business Economics, things are going to start looking up fairly soon.  Their survey of business economists recently indicated that growth will again pick up mid-year, resulting in a 2015 growth rate of 3.1%, which 2016 will show a slight decrease to 2.9%.

I hope they’re right (about 2015, anyway), although given the droopy pace of this recovery, it would be nice to see a “4” or higher in front of the decimal sometime soon.

 

 

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Angus DuBois
Angus DuBois
Contributor
Angus DuBois is the nom de plume of an entrepreneur of 20 years who, in cowardly fashion, prefers to keep his/her business identity a secret. Comments can be forwarded to angus@nexxuspublishing.com.

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