U.S. Economic Growth Picks Up
Overseas, policies already in place — and those that we expect to be enacted over the course of 2015 — are likely to be big drivers of global growth. We expect the U.S. economy will expand at a rate of 3% or slightly higher in 2015, which matches the average growth rate over the past 50 years. This forecast is based on contributions from consumer spending, business capital spending, and housing, which are poised to advance at historically average or better growth rates in 2015. Net exports and the government sector should trail behind. As the economy continues to grow at a moderate pace in 2015, we expect this expansion to potentially take us into 2016, where we could likely find tightening labor market conditions and a rising fed funds rate.
The United States is in the middle stage of the economic expansion, presenting investment opportunities and risks for investors. While the U.S. economy has grown over time, the growth has not been in a straight line. The variations in the pace of growth around the long-term trend are called economic cycles. Economic cycles have four distinct stages: recession, early (recovery), middle (mature), and late (aging).
By historical standards, the economic recovery that began in mid-2009 has been by far the most tepid recovery on record, with GDP through third quarter 2014 just 11% above its 2009 trough. In all recoveries since the end of World War II (WWII), the economy expanded 24% on average in the first five years of recovery. The current recovery even lags the last three (beginning in 1982, 1991, and 2001), which we believe are the most comparable. Five years into those recoveries, the economy stood 16% above its recession lows. The pace of this recovery thus far has lagged behind those prior in each of the major GDP categories [Figure 1]. Read the Full Report here Weekly Economic Commentary 12012014