Posts Tagged ‘economic growth’

Beige Book: Slower Growth, Less Optimism

Posted on June 09, 2017 by Laura Lam

Economic growth slowed across parts of the U.S. in recent weeks, and some firms have become a bit less optimistic about the future, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve.  “A majority of districts reported that firms expressed positive near-term outlooks; however, optimism waned somewhat in a few districts,” the Fed said in its latest Beige Book report. Broadly, the Fed said economic growth was modest in 7 districts, moderate in 4 districts and “flattened out” in the New York Fed district. The prior beige book said activity expanded in all 12 regions with the pace equally split…

Millennials’ Debt Load Could Weigh Down Economy

Posted on May 09, 2017 by Laura Lam

Millennials — 21 to 34-year-olds — hold an estimated $1.1 trillion of the country’s $3.6 trillion in consumer debt, according to UBS, as rising student and auto loans outweigh a drop in mortgages.  All that rising debt is coming with rising default risks. A UBS evidence lab survey found that 52% of people worried about defaulting on any loan over the next 12 months were in the 21 to 34 age group. That’s not good news considering those same individuals are meant to be the largest source of spending on big-ticket purchase items like houses and cars over the next year.  There is already…

2017 Will Bring Modest Economic Growth

Posted on February 23, 2017 by Laura Lam

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) has looked into the future, and they are not complaining.  “We’re expecting steady, modest growth in the U.S. economy,” said MBA Vice President of Research & Economics Lynn Fisher at the MBA National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo. “We’re seeing real economic growth in a number of indicators.” Fisher noted that as federal unemployment rates decline, employers may find difficulty in attracting workers to meet specific skill-sets. “This in turn is going to drive up wages,” she said. “Over the next two years, unemployment will fall to around 4.5%, suggesting further tightening on the labor front.” Fisher…

8 Years and Counting: No Recession in Sight

Posted on February 08, 2017 by Laura Lam

It’s been almost 8 years since the last recession ended in June 2009.  With economists predicting the next 2 years won’t bring a recession, that could put the economy on track for its longest period without a recession in modern history. “The longest was back in the 1990s under Bill Clinton and we went 10 years without having a recession,” explained Steve Rick, chief economist for CUNA Mutual Group.  “We’ll hit 8 years, which is long-that’s a good stretch with no recession. We don’t expect another recession for another two years, so we could break the record of 10 years.” In…

A “New Normal” of Slow Growth Coming in 2017

Posted on December 05, 2016 by Laura Lam

The median estimate from economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics calls for the American economy to grow 2.2% in 2017, up from a forecast 1.6% this year and unchanged from the previous survey in September. The improved number is still lackluster by historical standards. U.S. economic growth averaged 3.1% a year from 1948 to 2015, according to the Congressional Research Service. But the business economists say Americans need to get used to slow growth: 80% of those surveyed believe the potential growth rate of the American economy will remain at 2.5% or lower over the next 5…

Modest Economic Growth Expected in 2017

Posted on November 22, 2016 by Laura Lam

The U.S. economy is expected to continue growing modestly in 2017, but the unknown about policies to be enacted by President-elect Donald Trump’s administration pose both upside and downside risks, according to Fannie Mae.  Economic growth is still forecast to come in at 1.8% for this year, and a similar pace is anticipated for the following year, said Fannie Mae.  But uncertainty remains about Trump’s approach to economic and housing issues once he assumes office in January. “We haven’t changed the general tone of our forecast at this time, but we will incorporate new policy assumptions as they become more…

U.S Economy Off to a Slow Start in ‘16

Posted on April 14, 2016 by Laura Lam

The U.S. economy is again off to a poor start to the year, clouding the outlook and validating the Federal Reserve’s wait-and-see posture on raising interest rates.  Falling corporate profits are already constraining business investment and a strong dollar is restraining exports. Now, renewed caution among American households is holding back consumer spending, stymieing a key growth driver. A 0.3% drop for retail sales in March, according to recent Commerce Department figures, marked the third straight month in which sales have been flat or falling.  Slow starts are nothing new, leaving plenty of hope that better months are ahead. Gross domestic…

Consumer Delinquencies Fall Below Historic Levels

Posted on April 11, 2016 by Laura Lam

Rising home values continue to provide consumers with a strong incentive to keep up with their home equity loan payments.  According to the American Bankers Association’s quarterly report on consumer delinquency trends, late payments on home equity loans and home equity lines of credit have dipped below 15-year averages for the first time since the Great Recession. In the fourth quarter of 2015, the 30-day delinquency rate on home equity loans fell 23 basis points, to 2.68%, from three months earlier, and home equity line delinquencies fell 13 basis points, to 1.18%, the survey found. However, property improvement loan delinquencies…