Lawmakers in Washington, D.C. have one foot on the brake and one foot on the gas as political tensions and delayed policies are hindering economic growth in the U.S. Slow-moving Congressmen are not enough to stall the current economic expansion, however, says Sean Snaith, nationally recognized economist and director of UCF’s Institute for Economic Forecasting. The institute released its fourth quarter U.S. Forecast report today.
“Recent tax cuts have been coupled with significant and ongoing rollbacks of economic regulations, meaning the lifespan of the recovery has received a boost,” says Snaith. “New economic policies are certainly delaying a recession, but no recovery lasts forever.”
As lawmakers are wrapped up in impeachment proceedings, reviewing new trade agreements and a variety of budgetary concerns, Snaith predicts economic growth and productivity will persevere through 2022, but with an increased threat of recession over time.
“After short-term interest rates briefly grew higher than long-term interest rates and prompted forecasters to become wary of worsening economic conditions, the yield curve is back to normal,” says Snaith. “The U.S. economy bears no indication of a slowdown in the near future.”
In the report, Snaith predicts:
- The housing market will improve through 2022 – National housing starts will rise from 1.25 million in 2018 to 1.31 million.
- Unemployment will decline to 3.2 percent in late 2020 and job growth will keep up with the growth of the labor force.
- Job growth will continue. The rate of growth will reach 1.6 percent in 2019, then slow to 1.4 percent in 2020, 1 percent in 2021 and 0.5 percent in 2022.
- Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth will lessen, falling to 2.3 percent in 2019, rise to 2.4 percent in 2020 and decelerate again through 2022.
With the holiday shopping season fast approaching, consumers are in a fertile environment for solid spending growth. Significant gains in employment, faster wage and salary growth and high levels of consumer confidence will likely lead to a wide array of gifts under the Christmas tree and continue to build a strong foundation for consumption expenditures going forward.
The Federal Reserve will take a “wait-and-see” approach toward interest rates, according to the forecast. Snaith does not anticipate an increase or decrease in rates under current economic conditions.
“There is no reason for the Fed to interfere by raising rates as long as inflation continues to remain in check,” Snaith says. “There is also no reason to cut rates aggressively without a real threat of recession.”
For the complete U.S. report from the Institute for Economic Forecasting, visit business.ucf.edu/centers-institutes/institute-economic-forecasting
The Institute for Economic Forecasting strives to provide complete, accurate and timely national, state and regional forecasts and economic analyses.
Snaith is a national expert in economics, forecasting, market sizing and economic analysis who authors quarterly reports about the state of the economy. Bloomberg News has named Snaith as one of the country’s most accurate forecasters for his predictions about the Federal Reserve’s benchmark interest rate, the Federal Funds rate.