Several jaws dropped and eyebrows rose in January when BizTimes predicted a robust year of national economic growth for 2015.Â However, thatâ€™s precisely what our data and surveys were pointing to. The headline of the cover story proclaimed, "Ramp it up!"
Well, weâ€™re at the quarter pole, and so far, so good.
A national group of economic forecasters is raising its outlook for the U.S. economy for the next two years.
The March report from the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) forecasts more hiring, a lower unemployment rate, a lower inflation rate and more growth in consumer spending in 2015, compared with the group's forecast in December 2014.
The report also forecasts more investment by businesses in both equipment and intellectual property and modest growth for the U.S. stock market.
"NABEâ€™s March 2015 Outlook Survey panel expects a markedly stronger pace of economic growth in 2015 and 2016 than was recorded last year," says NABE president John Silvia, chief economist of Wells Fargo. "The panelistsâ€™ median forecast is for real GDP to increase 3.1 percent on an average annual basis this year followed by a 2.9 percent rise in 2016. This compares to a gain of only 2.4 percent in 2014. Healthier consumer spending, housing investment, and government spending growth are expected to make outsized contributions to the projected acceleration in overall economic activity. Accordingly, recent labor market strength is expected to continue. The panelistsâ€™ median forecast is for net new job creation to average approximately 250,000 per month in 2015 and 216,000 per month next year. The unemployment rate is expected to continue its downward trend over the next several quarters, reaching 5 percent by the second half of 2016."
Gross domestic product is expected to grow 3.1 percent in 2015.
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) validated the optimism in its second quarter Business Outlook Survey. Seventy-six percent of MMAC busine…Read more...